Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth reports that 27-year-old David L. Payne of Lynchburg in Highland County had been awaiting trial on on felony drug charges stemming from an October 25th arrest by the Washington C.H. Police Department.
“Payne was seen by nursing staff at the Fayette County Jail for an undisclosed medical condition and was being transported to the Fayette County Memorial Hospital for further treatment when the escape occurred”, according to Sheriff Stanforth.
There he escaped from custody in the parking lot at 2:51 pm, in an incident that Stanforth believes was planned. During transport, Payne managed to free himself from his restraints and knocked him to the ground after the deputy opened the doors.
Payne tried to carjack vehicles twice at the nearby Walgreens, but failing that, broke into a home where he stole clothes, jeans, and a car from the occupants.
He sped through the hospital parking lot, collided with a sheriff’s cruiser, drove onto the sidewalk at Walgreens to avoid law enforcement, sped across rush-hour Columbus Avenue, and east out of town.
A sheriff’s deputy was involved in a crash near the intersection of Camp Grove Road
and US 22. Law enforcement deployed “stop sticks” unsuccessfully at various locations.
The chase ended about 3:20pm on State Route 104, about a mile north of the Ross County line. Fayette Sheriff Stanforth says Payne rolled the vehicle several times into a cornfield and was ejected in what he called a "catastrophic crash."
He was then flown to Berger Hospital in Circleville, where the Pickaway Sheriff has confirmed that he was declared dead at about 4:40pm.
The investigation is continuing by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, Washington C.H. Police Department, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.