Judge Patrick Dinkelacker won't face charges for hitting, killing pedestrian on Central Parkway

CINCINNATI -- A Hamilton County judge won’t face charges after hitting and killing a pedestrian during rush hour in the city’s West End neighborhood.

The Cincinnati Police Department’s Traffic Unit investigated the fatal traffic crash that occurred just before 6 p.m. Dec. 10 at 2108 Central Pkwy.

Judge Patrick Dinkelacker, 59, was traveling southbound on Central Parkway when he struck 60-year-old Pamela Barnett with his a 2013 Cadillac SRX. Barnett was knocked onto the northbound lanes and then struck again by a 2011 Toyota Camry driven by Grace Ring, 32.

Barnett, who was crossing Central Parkway from the west to the east and stopped on the center line, was pronounced dead at the scene.

At the time of the accident, Jack Ellenberger said he was driving by the area between Linn and Ravine streets in the West End and saw Barnett in his rearview mirror, standing in the middle of the busy road.

"I actually saw the one man strike her. I had no idea that he had actually hit her. I thought that maybe he had swerved to miss her," he said.

Ellenberger said Dinkelacker, a Hamilton County Appeals Court judge, got out of his SUV and couldn’t keep his composure.

"He couldn't hold the tears back any longer and had a little bit of a cry there. I mean, I wouldn't blame him," Ellenberger said.

After the three-month-plus investigation, law enforcement officials determined that Barnett wasn’t in a crosswalk when she entered the roadway at rush hour, according to a news release from the Cincinnati Police Department.

Toxicology results received from the Hamilton County Coroner revealed that she had a “very high level of Cocaine & Cocaine Metabolites in her system, consistent with recent use, and impairment,” according to the release.

As a result of the investigation, the Cincinnati Prosecutor’s Office decided not to file charges against Dinkelacker or Ring.

The Traffic Unit has closed this investigation.

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