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Updated report shows Springfield Township officer's speed in deadly March crash

side by side images of two men
Ofc. Tim Unwin (left) lost control of his police vehicle March 31, 2023, striking and killing Mr. William Kenneth Dunson.

An updated report on the March 31 crash involving a Springfield Township police officer and a civilian indicates the officer was traveling at 84 mph when he crashed.

Ofc. Tim Unwin was responding to an "officer needs assistance" call from another jurisdiction when police records indicate he lost control of his vehicle. It hit a median on Hamilton Ave. in North College Hill while traveling northbound. It then struck a landscape boulder, went airborne, flipping on its side and striking a vehicle driven by William Dunson, who was traveling southbound.

Unwin and Dunson were both killed in the crash.

The report by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office states Unwin was doing 84 mph in a 25 mph zone. Dunson was traveling at 33 mph.

A North College Hill police officer responding to the same call was in the area at the time. In his witness statement, Ofc. Zachary Whyle states he saw blue emergency lights approaching from behind him on W. Galbraith Ave just prior to turning onto Hamilton Ave. The lights continued to approach quickly.

Background: Two dead including Springfield Township police officer in early morning crash

"I immediately started moving to the right because it was apparent to me the officer driving the car behind me was trying to pass. I realized the officer was coming too fast to pass me in the northbound lanes. I looked to the left and saw there was a median to my left. I saw the underside of the police cruiser that came from behind me as it flipped while airborne," the statement reads.

Whyle states he parked, called in the emergency, and attempted to render aid without realizing immediately that a second car was involved.

The witness statement also indicates Whyle heard a call-out on the police radio — and read on his on-board computer — that two subjects were in custody in the initial "officer needs assistance" call shortly after turning onto Hamilton Ave. and was continuing his own pace of 50-60 mph.

The Sheriff's Office released a statement along with the report saying, "The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Investigators worked diligently to conduct a thorough and accurate investigation. We will allow the report to speak for itself. At this time, we will continue to allow both families of Officer Unwin and William Dunson to grieve the loss of their loved ones without being re-traumatized by the outlining of this incident."

WVXU has reached out the Springfield Township Police Department for comment. This story will be updated if the department issues a statement.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.