Man gets year in prison for deadly I-75 hit-and-run that kills Franklin woman in Moraine

A Huber Heights man will spend nearly a year in prison for striking and killing a 20-year-old Franklin woman last April on Interstate 75 in Moraine after she got out of her car that broke down.

Nicholas Frederick Debello, 38, was sentenced in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court after he pleaded guilty last week to felony charges of failure to stop after an accident, tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor count of vehicular homicide. Judge Kimberly Melnick sentenced him to one year on the two felony charges and six months in jail for the misdemeanor count, to be served concurrent for a total of one year. However, Debello also received 67 days of jail time credit, according to sentencing documents filed Thursday.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Debello was the driver of a white 2021 Ram 2500 that struck Emily Ryan around 12:15 a.m. April 21 on I-75 South near the Dryden Road exit in a construction zone. The pickup truck struck the 2011 Kia Rio that Ryan had been driving and then also hit Ryan, according to a crash report filed by the Moraine Police Division.

Where Ryan’s car broke down there was not a shoulder or safety zone to get it off the highway, Moraine police Sgt. Andrew Parish said previously.

Security camera footage from Dryden Road businesses showed the pickup truck went to a trailer in the 100 block of Aloha Drive in the Aloha Trailer Park right after the crash and that it stayed there until about 3:15 a.m. Moraine detectives determined it was the home of Debello’s father and confirmed that Debello had a son with a white 2021 Dodge Ram 2500 registered to him, according to an affidavit filed in Kettering Municipal Court.

Debello’s father told police that his son said he struck a car on the highway and fled, the document stated.

Police used GPS data to track Debello’s cellphone to a campground in Oldham County, Kentucky. Florence police arrested him on a warrant out of Montgomery County for a probation violation. Debello’s truck was seized and he also was charged in Kentucky through Boone County Circuit Court with operating a motor vehicle under influence, operating on suspended or revoked license and possession of open alcohol beverage container in motor vehicle, records show.

Debello’s truck “was found to have damage corresponding with the fatal accident and appeared to be cleaned and tampered with, as off-white paint was placed overtop of the damage on the passenger side front bumper and tool markings were observed on the fender mounting brackets inside the headlight compartment,” the affidavit stated.

In addition to his prison term, Debello’s driver’s license was suspended for a mandatory five years.

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