Man charged after police pursuit ended in deadly crash in Grove City

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The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash that resulted from a police pursuit south of Grove City on the afternoon of Feb. 15.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office received a call of a reckless and possibly impaired driver on I-71 near I-270 shortly before 3 p.m. Friday.

Sheriff's deputies stopped the vehicle on the highway before it fled, starting a pursuit.

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The chase went south on I-71 before pulling off onto State Route 62, then Zuber Road. The vehicle crashed into a guardrail at the intersection of Zuber and Young Roads. The passenger, identified as 44-year-old Helen Kimball of Columbus, was critically injured and pronounced dead on scene.

The driver ran off following the crash and was immediately apprehended by a state trooper. The driver was transported to a local hospital for injuries from the crash.

Authorities believe drug-impaired driving was a factor in the crash.

The suspected driver, 44-year-old Robert Smith, was arraigned on Feb. 19 on felony charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and failure to comply with the signal of a police officer.

Smith admitted to troopers he would probably be heroin or methamphetamines in his system, according to court records.

Records also show Smith was driving under eight active license suspensions.