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Published: Friday, 9/10/2010

Driver denies role in crash 2006 collision killed 2; suspect fled, arrested Sunday

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

More than four years after he was charged for allegedly causing a drunken-driving crash that killed two people and injured a third, Reginald Dixon appeared in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Thursday to face the criminal charges.

Dixon, 52, pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of aggravated vehicular assault. If convicted, he faces up to 28 years in prison.

Judge James Bates set an Oct. 12 trial date and ordered Dixon held in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

Dixon is alleged to have caused a May 1, 2006, two-vehicle crash at Indiana Avenue and Collingwood Boulevard.

According to reports of the incident, Dixon was driving east on Indiana when his car collided with a vehicle driven south on Collingwood by Richard Miller of Findlay.

Police said Dixon was intoxicated at the time of the crash and registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.210 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit for a motorist in Ohio to be considered under the influence.

His vehicle smashed into a traffic signal pole, pinning him in the wreckage for a time before he was freed by rescue workers.

Dixon's passenger, Patricia Mason, 53, who lived with Dixon at the time, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A month later, a passenger in Mr. Miller's vehicle, Ralph Coleman, 45, of Findlay, died at Fremont Memorial Hospital.

Both drivers were hospitalized for more than a week before being released.

Dixon was indicted Sept. 14, 2006, by a Lucas County grand jury on the vehicular homicide and assault charges.

A warrant was issued for his arrest the following day.

The court docket lists no further entries until Sunday, when it notes that Dixon was arrested.

Attorney John Thebes, who was appointed Thursday to represent Dixon, told Judge Bates his client had spent the last three or four years living in New Orleans.

It was while living in Louisiana, where he was working as a janitor, that Dixon was stopped by police and eventually returned to Ohio, Mr. Thebes said.

Mr. Thebes told the judge that Dixon continues to have some contacts in the Toledo area, including a sister.

No members of Dixon's family attended Thursday's court appearance.

After the hearing, Mr. Thebes said it was unclear when Dixon left the Toledo area or whether he knew a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

According to court records, Dixon has an extensive misdemeanor criminal and traffic record, including a conviction in 1993 for driving under the influence and three citations for driving without a license.

He served time in prison for a 1980 aggravated robbery conviction.

Contact Erica Blake at:

eblake@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.



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