LIMA — A police officer testified Wednesday he tried to stop a van he thought an odor of marijuana was coming from before the driver sped off and crashed killing another man.
Lima Police Officer Aaron Montgomery said he pulled up behind the van at a traffic light and noticed a smell of marijuana. He also noticed the van was one he had not seen in the area where he had worked for a number of years and there was an odor of marijuana he thought was from the van.
Montgomery’s testimony was presented during a probable cause hearing at Allen County Juvenile Court for 17-year-old Kevin Godsey who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Devontae Williams. Prosecutors are seeking to try Godsey as an adult.
When Montgomery attempted to stop the van moments later, the driver sped away on Kibby Street. The driver continued by a gas station where there was a number of people walking near the street, the officer said.
“There was actually no regard for his safety, the occupants’ safety, or anyone in that immediate area,” Montgomery said.
The officer said speeds reached in excess of 80 mph in a matter of seconds. The posted speed limit was 25 mph.
Moments later, the van’s driver ran a red light and crashed into the side of a car at the intersection of Central Avenue.
“It was an absolutely horrific accident that happened,” Montgomery said. “It almost looked like a bomb went off. That’s how significant and unfortunate the accident was.”
Debris from the crash was all over the road, he said.
The driver got out of the van, took a step and fell over but remained conscious and spoke to Montgomery, he said.
“He said he was sorry and didn’t know why,” Montgomery said. “I asked him what his name was and he said Kevin Godsey.”
The officer’s testimony was the bulk of evidence prosecutors presented. Judge Glenn Derryberry did not issue a decision and said he was going to take some time to research the law and consider the evidence.
Also during the hearing, Godsey’s attorney, Steve Chamberlain, asked Montgomery if marijuana was found in the van or on any occupant of the van. Montgomery said no.