Driver charged in deadly crash; deputies say speed and alcohol are likely factors

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Investigators examining a deadly crash in Butler County have charged the driver they said is responsible with aggravated vehicular homicide.

The crash happened about 3 a.m. June 8 on U.S. 127 south of Harris Road in Milford Twp. Deputies and emergency personnel responded after a report of two vehicles colliding head-on.

The driver of a 2014 Toyota Camry was southbound on U.S. 127 when the vehicle went left of center and struck a 2014 Chrysler 300.

Leodegario Cruz Ortiz, 22, from Mexico, drove the Camry. He and a passenger were transported by Air Care to UC Hospital for treatment of incapacitating injuries, according to deputies.

The driver of the Chrysler, Christopher Vanzant, 40, of Fountain City, Indiana, was declared dead at the scene.

The Butler County Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team (S.T.A.R.T.) investigated and determined Ortiz was driving more than 80 mph and said alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor.

Investigators also said Ortiz is in the U.S. illegally and did not have a driver’s license.

Ortiz remains hospitalized, and the sheriff’s office issued a warrant for aggravated vehicular homicide, a first-degree felony.

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