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LATEST: Lebanon woman’s car was pushed into path of Moraine police cruiser

Police are continuing to investigate a Tuesday evening collision in Miami Twp. involving a Moraine police cruiser that left a woman dead, a police officer injured and an 18-year-old in custody:

  • Mary Taulbee, 57, of Lebanon was killed in the collision with the police car
  • Police were pursuing a Jeep driven by Alyssa Irwin Debraux, 18, arrested minutes after the crash 
  • Moraine Police Officer Matt Barrie suffered minor injuries in the crash with Taulbee 

WHAT HAPPENED

According to the preliminary investigation being conducted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Moraine police:

Moraine Police Officer Matt Barrie began pursuing a black Jeep on state Route 741 about 6:15 p.m. when he spotted the vehicle, which had been reported stolen in Harrison Twp.

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A Chrysler attempting to avoid the pursuit as it traveled south on 741 rear-ended a Hyundai being driven by Mary Taulbee, 57, of Lebanon. That collision caused Taulbee’s vehicle to spin out of control and into the path of the Moraine police cruiser.

The Jeep police said was being driven by 18-year-old Alyssa Irwin Debraux ended up on its top near the Dayton Mall, on 741 at Mall Ring Road, a few miles south of the fatal crash site. Police arrested her at the Speedway gas station across the street. She remains in the Montgomery County Jail on preliminary charges.

Speeds during the pursuit reached about 80 mph.

ABOUT THE OFFICER

Officer Barrie, a four-year Moraine Police Division veteran and 2017 Moraine Officer of the Year, suffered minor injuries and is on administrative leave, Moraine Police Chief Craig Richardson.

Richardson said the officer’s actions were within department policy, which states that a pursuit is justified “only when the necessity of the immediate apprehension outweighs the level of danger created.”

When the pursuit started, traffic was light and the speeds were “fairly reasonable,” the chief said. 

Mary Taulbee. CONTRIBUTED

ABOUT THE VICTIM

Mary Taulbee worked in the Irongate Realtors office at 1353 Lyons Rd. in Washington Twp., that office confirmed. 

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Taulbee was a Realtor of 30 years in the Dayton, Englewood, Lebanon, Miamisburg and Springboro, according to her profile on Realtor.com. 

“My goal is to treat you like you are my only client,” she wrote on the website. “Building friendships is my primary focus. This has led to my successful business. 

She had lived in the area since 1978 and had been a licensed Relator since 1988. 

Taulbee listed her slogan as: “I promise only what I can deliver and then try to deliver more than I promise.”

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ABOUT THE ACCUSED

Alyssa Irwin Debraux, 18, remains in the county jail booked Tuesday night on suspicion of receiving stolen property. Formal charges have not been filed, online jail records show.

(Alyssa Irwin Debraux/MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL)
PHOTO: Jim Noelker/Staff

WHAT WITNESSES SAW

A Miami Twp. man who saw the aftermath of the crash said the officer was “disoriented” after the incident.

“I ran out of the house as soon as I heard,” said Spencer Schotz. “I was at the car before the officer got out of his car. He was kind of shook up, disoriented when he got up to the car.” 

Schotz said Taulbee appeared motionless when he arrived.

“The car was crumpled,” he said. “ I ran over to the other side. Everybody else was getting out of their cars and running over to the scene. You could tell that the woman ... there was something wrong. ... She wasn’t moving at all. There was no kind of motion.”

>> Moraine police involved in pursuit, arrest of theft suspect

Crash

Doug Fitzsimmons said he was headed south on state Route 741 when he saw the pursuit approaching.

“Sure enough, I see a police cruiser in my rear view mirror, flying down 741 with their lights on, going extremely fast,” he said. “I don’t know how fast.”

The vehicle being pursued passed him on his right side, Fitzsimmons said.

“My concern is that an innocent person gets hurt as police pursue a suspect, which they rightfully do, but they are traveling so fast that an innocent person gets hurt,” he said.

Ohio 741 was shut down for hours following the incident.

PHOTO: Jim Noelker/Staff
PHOTO: Jim Noelker/Staff

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We will continue to update this report. 

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