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Roadway fatalities increase over Memorial Day weekend

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting 22 crashes resulting in 23 deaths on Ohio’s roadways during the 2023 Memorial Day weekend according to provisional statistics. This is the highest number of traffic fatalities in Ohio since 2020 when 20 individuals were killed. The four-day reporting period began Friday, May 26 and ran through Monday, May 29.


Safety top of mind as summer travel season begins

State agencies reminding drivers to be safe on the road

COLUMBUS - Millions of drivers will hit the road for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, kicking off the unofficial start to summer.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting 42.3 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home during the holiday, a 7% increase over 2022.


Search expands for escaped Lima inmates; Lee apprehended in Kentucky


According to / 13 Action News early on Wednesday, May 24, "A police department in Henderson, Kentucky ... "had arrested one of the men that escaped from the prison in Lima earlier this week."

James Marion Lee was arrested but Bradley Gillespie, fled on foot and had not yet been apprehended. Gillespie was convicted for a double murder.

The following media release was issued at 11:32 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23:

LIMA – The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and  Correction are investigating after two inmates, Bradley Gillespie, 50, and James Lee, 47 escaped from the Allen/Oakwood Correctional Institution (AOCI). 

Today [Tuesday, May 23] during a prisoner count at 11:00 a.m., ODRC officials determined Lee was missing. Angela Stuff, AOCI warden, approved an emergency count of all prisoners in  the facility and escape posts were manned. During the emergency count, it was  discovered Gillespie was also missing. The ODRC notified law enforcement and officers from multiple jurisdictions, the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, and the Patrol responded to the facility. 

During the course of the investigation, prison officials determined Gillespie and Lee  were last observed on surveillance video inside the facility at 8:41 a.m. on May 22. 

The Patrol continues to work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners  to investigate potential leads.



Two inmates escape from Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution

Warning from the Allen County Sherrif's Office:

2 inmates have escaped from Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio. Information is limited at the moment. Please be aware and use caution. If you see either inmate please DO NOT APPROACH. Immediately call 911.

James Lee – 47 years old. Male, brown hair, blue eyes, 300 pounds

Bradley Gillespie – 50 years old, male, bald, blue eyes, 200 pounds

The Sheriff's Office will update with more information as it is available.


Rape charges filed in Hancock County against Bluffton man

A Hancock County grand jury has charged a Bluffton man with raping a teenager in June of 2022.

Dillon E. Amos of 4150 Ohio 103, Bluffton, has been charged with rape, a first-degree felony, and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony, according to information from the Hancock County court of Common Pleas.

The charges were filed on May 16, 2023.


Officer Dominic Francis Memorial Highway dedicated in Bluftton

Photographs by Jamie Nygaard

By Paula Scott

The community that has grieved and honored fallen police officer Dominic Francis since his loss in the line of duty on March 31, 2022, is now celebrating him with a first official memorial on Interstate I-75.

On Friday, April 28, ceremonies to commemorate the Officer Dominic Francis Memorial Highway--a portion of I-75 in Allen and Hancock counties--were held at Bluffton Town Hall. Signs will be located at mile marker 139 Northbound and 143 Southbound.