Horrific I-75 crash brings out worst, best in people

OSHP describes acts of cowardice, courage

LEBANON, Ohio – Witnesses described seeing the worst and best of people at the site of a horrible crash on I-75 Saturday morning.

They said Marshall Dutton tried to run away after driving high and recklessly and crashing into Eliot Feltner's car near the Middletown exit, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

As nurses rushed to Feltner's side and worked to keep him alive, bystanders pinned Dutton against a roadside barrier and held him there until police arrived.

Now Dutton, 20, of Waynesville, is locked up on aggravated vehicular assault and DUI charges and Feltner, a 22-year-old recent University of Cincinnati grad, is in the hospital fighting for his life.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Robert Burd said several motorists called 911 before the crash to report a reckless driver.

"Prior to the incident, we received several calls complaining about his driving - high rate of speed, passing on the berm, very erratic behavior," Burd told WCPO.

"The suspect, I was told, attempted to leave the scene on foot and was held down by citizens on the road -  had him pinned against the concrete wall."

What was Dutton's behavior then, we asked Burd.

"Denial. Nonchalant. No big deal, " Burd said.

The nurses thought they had lost Feltner but they were able to revive him, Burd said.

"They did lose a pulse a couple of times at the scene, but they were able to get it back," he said.

Feltner's family is in shock, said his aunt, Carlene Cline.

"One minute your life is normal and the next minute it changes on a dime," Cline said.

"We stay positive. We know Elliot is a fighter. The trauma team has said it's going to be a marathon, not a sprint."

Feltner studied film and was on his way to make one, she said.

"He's a soccer player. He loves the Reds. He's a baseball fan. He's an athlete. He's a videographer by passion. He's going to continue to write good stories," she said.

"And hopefully he will tell a story about this because it's certainly a tough, tough road for him. He's got a long road ahead of him."

The crash happened about 10 a.m. and closed northbound I-75 for nearly four hours.

Dutton is being held at the Warren County Jail on $100,000 bond. 

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