Middleburg man dies in Jax crashJACKSONVILLE – A Middleburg man died Tuesday afternoon after the semi-tractor trailer he was driving ran off the outside lane on Interstate 295 near the U.S. 1 …
Middleburg man dies in Jax crash
JACKSONVILLE – A Middleburg man died Tuesday afternoon after the semi-tractor trailer he was driving ran off the outside lane on Interstate 295 near the U.S. 1 intersection.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Daniel Egyed, 57, was transported to UF Health Hospital in Jacksonville, where he died later. A passenger in the truck – Charles Kruse, 39, of Jacksonville – was treated for serious injuries.
FHP said Egyed lost control of the semi, which was hauling a large forklift, and traveled off the roadway to the right shoulder and down an embankment.
The front of the semi collided with a tree.
FHP said the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Infant killed in Sunday multi-car crash
ORANGE PARK – After holding on to life for a day, the Florida Highway Patrol said an infant died Monday from injuries she received in a multi-car crash at Blanding Boulevard and College Drive on Dec. 16 at 4:44 p.m.
Sophie’Leon Friesenhahn of Middleburg died at UF Health Hospital in Jacksonville where she was transported after the five-vehicle accident. She was initially listed in serious condition.
The crash tied up traffic for hours while officers investigated the scene.
FHP said the infant was in a car seat of a 2016 Kia Soul that was stopped at the intersection red-light when it was struck by a 2014 Jeep Limited driven by Randy E. Teal, 30, of Jacksonville.
Police said the crash had a ripple effect and caused the Kia to slam into the back of a 2014 Toyota Camry and sideswipe a 2015 Camry, which then struck a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. All vehicles were stopped at a red light when the crash took place.
The driver of the Sonic and the 2014 Camry were not injured, but the driver of the 2015 Camry and its passenger were treated for minor injuries at Orange Park Medical Center.
FHP said charges are pending.
Auto theft, drug charges for Middleburg man
MIDDLEBURG – What began as a call to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office about a burglary ended in an arrest for multiple charges for a Middleburg man last weekend.
Police arrested Eric Wayne Crawford, 35, on Dec. 15 at 3:31 p.m. in the 1900 block of Green Meadows Lane using outstanding warrants for grand theft auto and littering more than 500 pounds.
According to one warrant, Crawford went to his late mother’s yard on Cosmos Avenue and hotwired her 2001 Dodge truck without permission from the factory on Aug. 1. Police said Crawford then tried to conceal the truck’s silver factory paint job by spray-painting it black. He drove around in the truck for about three months before being pulled over by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for driving on a suspended license.
The illegal dumping charge stems from an investigation by CCSO’s Environmental Crimes Unit that found Crawford dumped “a large pile of furniture, trash and construction debris on a private wooded parcel of land, in the 4700 block of Johns Cemetery Road in Middleburg.”
At press time, Crawford remained in the Clay County Jail where his bond is set at $110,514. He also faces one count each of burglary, methamphetamine possession and drug equipment possession.
Crossing guard struck in morning traffic
ORANGE PARK – A crossing guard with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office received minor injuries Dec. 13 in an accident in front of Orange Park High.
The Florida Highway Patrol said John Shatto, 82, of Orange Park was walking northbound across Kinglsey Avenue within the marked crosswalk when he was struck by a 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis sedan driven by Horatio George, 73, of Jacksonville around 6:45 a.m. As the car entered the crosswalk, its left side collided with Shatto who was treated for minor injuries at Orange Park Medical Center.
FHP said charges are pending against George.
Jax man charged for soliciting a minor for sex
ORANGE PARK – Orange Park Police arrested a Jacksonville man as part of an online investigation into internet solicitation.
On Dec. 12, police arrested Joseph Adams Obaugh, 37, and charged him with six counts of transmission of material harmful, three counts of lewd or lascivious exhibition over a computer online service, travelling to meet a minor to do unlawful acts, possession of cannabis, drug paraphernalia possession and soliciting a child via the computer to engage in sex.
According to the agency’s social media post, Obaugh “traveled to the Town of Orange Park to meet up with, what he thought, was a 14-year-old girl for illegal sexual activity.”
The arrest was carried out by OPPD’s officer from the Internet Crimes Against Children unit who participated in a North Florida ICAC operation that began in June in St. Johns County.
In the days after the completion of that operation, Obaugh contacted the undercover officer thinking it was the teen but it was only for a brief conversation. In late November, Obaugh contacted the undercover officer again, but this time he expressed what police called “his true interest in engaging in sex acts with the person whom he still believed to be the 14-year-old girl.” Police said Obaugh then messaged several pornographic images to the undercover officer and ultimately asked to meet her to have sex.
On Dec. 12, “Obaugh indicated to the undercover officer that he would meet her at the RaceTrac gas station in Orange Park, so he could pick her up in his vehicle and take her to a place to engage in sex acts,” stated police.
At the RaceTrac, officers found 1.2 grams of cannabis in a cupholder in Obaugh’s vehicle along with two marijuana pipes in the middle console.
When he arrived, Orange Park Police officers were waiting to arrest him. At press time, Obaugh remained in the Clay County Jail where his bond is set at $305,037.
Arrest made in DUI that injured passenger
FLEMING ISLAND – A 19-year-old Fleming Island woman faces felony charges of driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury to another person.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jasmin Yesenia Barrera on Dec. 11 at 9:36 p.m. at her home in Canary Court.
According to the arrest warrant, the charges stem from a June 30 two-vehicle crash that took place near the intersection of Pine Hollow Road and Russell Road that resulted in injuring Barrera and two passengers in her vehicle. The investigating officer said he could smell “the distinct odor of cannabis” coming from within Barrera’s car after the crash.
Police said the crash was so severe, Barrera – who was driving – became trapped in the vehicle and it took first responders 45 minutes to extract her. She and passengers Jay Bedgood of Orange Park and Ariyana Summerville were transported to Orange Park Medical Center for treatment.
Barrera was admitted to the intensive care unit with multiple broken bones, head and kidney trauma.
Summerville was released the night of the crash with a fractured leg. Meanwhile, Bedgood – who was in the back seat – received a fractured pelvis and had a minor brain bleed that healed with 24 hours, police said.
The driver of the second vehicle, Brandon Wilkerson, was released the night of the crash with minor injuries.
Barrera was booked into the Clay County Jail but has since been released.
Former bus driver sentenced on child porn charges
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A former Clay County School District bus driver is in the Clay County Jail awaiting transfer to a Florida prison after entering a guilty plea on child pornography charges.
Fourth Circuit Court Judge John H. Skinner sentenced Marion Keith Nichols, 58, of Green Cove Springs, to nine years in prison on Dec. 10 for five counts of possession of photographs depicting a sexual performance by a child. He was sentenced to 15 consecutive years of probation for another five counts of the same charge. Originally charged with 13 counts, the court decided not to pursue prosecution of three counts, which were lodged against Nichols on August 2, 2017 when he was arrested by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the arrest warrant, the investigation began on May 14, 2017 when a member of CCSO’s Special Victim’s Unit received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
On May 26, 2017, detectives interviewed Nichols and asked him if he owed or had ever downloaded child pornography. A search of his phone uncovered photos of prepubescent girls wearing “skimpy clothes” and making “sexually suggestive poses.”
A day later, a search of Nichols’ garbage uncovered numerous “electronic devices,” which contained at least five images of children that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children confirmed had been found in other child pornography investigations.
A search of Nichols’ home uncovered CDs from a dresser in the master bedroom that contained images of children being sexually abused. A total of 95 images were found in the search.
In 2014, Nichols declared his intentions to run for the District 5 seat on the Clay County School Board but withdrew before the qualifying period ended.