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Mansfield man dies in rollover crash following a pursuit with police

Mansfield crash
Posted at 9:37 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 19:44:57-05

RICHLAND COUNTY, Ohio — A 37-year-old man was killed in a single-vehicle crash after a pursuit with Mansfield police on Plymouth Springmill Road in Richland County Wednesday.

The crash happened at around 8:46 p.m. on Plymouth Springmill Road near London West Road.

Mansfield police officers attempted to stop a Chevrolet Silverado driven by Randy L. Heater Jr., 37, of Mansfield, who was fleeing police by driving north on Plymouth Springmill Road. Heater failed to negotiate a curve, traveled off the right side of the road, and struck a guardrail.

The vehicle overturned and Heater was ejected from the vehicle.

Kendall Newswanger and his family live right next door and saw the crash occur, after hearing the echo of police sirens in the distance.

“We just heard it coming and coming,” he said. “He lost control on the curb, hit the guardrail first, and catapulted in the air.”

Heater, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Mansfield Police, Heater used a tire iron to hit a man in the face along Sycamore Street in Mansfield earlier that evening. When officers arrived after hearing about the fight and possibly a woman held against her will, Heater had already left in a pickup truck.

Shortly thereafter, officers found Heater and his truck barreling down Bowman Street, where officers said Heater rammed into a police cruiser before driving away.

Captain Doug Noblet with Mansfield told News 5 that Heater drove through a rural area of Richland County for nearly 15 miles at speeds ranging from 70-100 mph. Noblet said the pursuit was about to be called off for safety reasons.

“The supervisor, the sergeant on this particular pursuit, had made the call across the radio that it wasn’t going to go on much farther, and unfortunately the time had elapsed where it had become a fatality,” Noblet said.

Per standard policy, Mansfield police placed three officers on administrative leave while the crash remains under investigation.

In addition to Mansfield Police, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby Police Department, Plymouth Police Department, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted in the pursuit.

Transparency Tracker

Mansfield Police: 4 - Complied with some of our requests in a reasonable time frame

Transparency Tracker 4

Mansfield Police quickly provided an initial release on the overnight crash, as well as detailed information and an on-camera interview explaining what happened. Dash camera video of the pursuit was requested, but not completed at the time of this story publishing.

Learn more about News 5's "Transparency Tracker" initiative here.

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