Motorcyclist killed in hit-skip crash, suspect in custody after fleeing


NORWALK – A Norwalk man reportedly rear-ended a motorcyclist, killing him, then fled law enforcement.

Chad Holbrook, 49, Norwalk, was arrested after a two-hour manhunt, according to the Norwalk Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The two-vehicle fatal crash occurred Thursday at 8:39 p.m. on Ohio 61 near Ohio 601 in Norwalk Township, Huron County.

Holbrook was driving a 2007 Chevy truck northbound on Route 61 when he rear-ended a 2000 Harley Davidson motorcycle, operated by Benjamin Curtis Conley, 46, Collins. The impact threw Conley from his motorcycle, where he landed in a ditch. Conley was not wearing a helmet and died at the scene.

Holbrook continued driving north on Route 61 while dragging the Harley Davidson with his truck, according to the patrol. He turned left onto Seminary Road and continued northbound when the motorcycle eventually became dislodged. Holbrook continued north, turned right onto McIntyre Road and eventually stopped in the roadway approximately 2 miles from the initial crash scene.

An off-duty deputy with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, Hayden Service, witnessed the crash and followed Holbrook, according to the report. When Holbrook stopped his truck on McIntyre Road due to disabling damage, the deputy exited his vehicle and identified himself as law enforcement. The deputy ordered Holbrook to stop as he was exiting the truck.

Holbrook disobeyed the order and fled on foot into a wooded area, according to the patrol.

Approximately two hours later, Holbrook was taken into custody after an extensive manhunt. Holbrook was arrested and lodged in the Huron County Jail.

Charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and operating a vehicle while impaired have been filed in Norwalk Municipal Court. Holbrook was not wearing a seat belt and was not injured in the crash.

The patrol was assisted on scene by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the Huron County Sheriff’s Office, the Berlin Heights Police Department, Norwalk Fire Department, North Central EMS, the Huron County Coroners Office, Interstate Towing and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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