Video from the dashboard camera of the Upper Arlington police cruiser involved in a crash that killed six Friday morning, Oct. 18, shows the vehicle pulled in front of the officer, investigators said.
Perry Township Police Lt. Steve Cesaro said the driver of the Toyota Corolla that collided with an Upper Arlington police cruiser at 1:35 a.m. Oct. 18 and resulted in six fatalities made an illegal turn on a red light.
All six occupants of the Corolla were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Fishinger Road in Perry Township.
Perry Township police Friday afternoon identified the family members killed. The driver was Eid Badi Shahad, 39. His wife, Entisar W. Hameed, 31, was in the front passenger seat. In the backseat were their daughters: Shuaa Badi, 16, Amna Badi, 14, Ekbal Badi, 12, and Lina Badi, 2.
According to police, no one in the vehicle were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, and the toddler was not in a safety seat.
As of approximately 4 p.m. Friday, Cesaro said, investigators from the Columbus Police Division had recovered video from the dash camera of the Upper Arlington police cruiser, which was driven by officer Shawn Paynter, a member of the force since 2008.
Cesaro said the video showed Paynter’s cruiser, which was responding to a report of an armed robbery at a McDonald’s at 1905 W. Henderson Road, had both its emergency lights and sirens activated at the time of the crash. The officer was traveling north on Riverside Drive.
He added the video shows Paynter had a green light, which turned yellow as he entered the intersection.
At that point, Cesaro said, the Corolla driven by Shahad, which was westbound on Fishinger, pulled through a red light into the intersection.
According to a press release from the Upper Arlington Police Division, Paynter suffered head injuries from the crash and was transported to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.
“Last I hear, he was stable and recovering,” Cesaro said.
Upper Arlington police did not return a call for comment as of Friday.
According to reports from The Columbus Dispatch, the crash victims came from Iraq via Syria three years ago, lived in an apartment on the city's West Side and leave behind five sons, ages 5 to 18.
“We can just confirm that they lived on the West Side,” Cesaro said.
The six dead ties the largest loss of life in a crash this year in Ohio, according to the State Highway Patrol.
Cesaro described the crash scene as “chaotic.” He said no one was ejected from the victims’ vehicle and it did not roll over as a result of the crash.
Cesaro couldn’t immediately confirm the most recent previous fatal crash in Perry Township but said the carnage from the Friday morning accident was unprecedented during his tenure.
“This is definitely a first,” he said. “Unfortunately, I’ve dealt with fatal crashes before, but nothing with this many fatalities in one crash.”
The intersection at Riverside and Fishinger was closed following the crash until approximately 7:30 a.m. later that morning, Cesaro said.
He added that it’s unclear when the investigation would conclude.
“On-scene, we’re still collecting evidence,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that could go anywhere from a week to six weeks.”
As for the alleged robbery at McDonald’s, Upper Arlington police issued a press release at approximately noon, Oct. 18, which stated the investigation continues.
According to the release, an unidentified male entered the restaurant through the drive-thru window and displayed a black, small-framed revolver handgun and demanded money.
“The employees complied and the suspect exited the store in an unknown direction of travel with an undisclosed amount of money,” the release stated. “The suspect remains at large, and is described as a heavy-set black male wearing jeans and a red hoodie. None of the victims were injured or harmed at the scene of the robbery.”
Anyone with information regarding the robbery investigation is encouraged to contact the Upper Arlington Division of Police at 614-583-5160.