Troopers say crash that killed two may have been caused by driver on methadone


    Two people were killed a child hurt after a crash on Hebron Road in Licking County Wednesday March 6, 2019. (WSYX/WTTE)

    Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol say a driver taking methadone to beat opioid addiction fell asleep at the wheel causing a double-fatal car crash on State Route 79 Wednesday night.

    Lt. Aaron Vollmer said Ryan Oppenheimer, the driver of a Ford Explorer, told investigators he fell asleep, went left of center, and struck another SUV. Oppenheimer, 37, said his four-year old son was in the back seat. Troopers said the boy was not in a car seat. Cindy Perry of Buckeye Lake, and her boyfriend John Rodela of Hebron were pronounced dead at the scene. Oppenheimer and his son were treated and released at Licking Memorial Hospital.

    “Just because it is prescribed by a doctor doesn’t mean it is okay for you to drive,” Vollmer said.

    Rodela’s neighbor Kenda Miller said she was sad to hear about the crash. ”I am sorry that it happened ,wish it never did, they were really good people and I hope he does some time for this,” Miller said. “A lot of times he would have these moments when John would talk about God and everything, so I know he was really into his religion. Every time he thought he was crossing the line, he’d say God is saving me again.”

    Troopers said the prosecutor will review the investigation once it is complete and decide if charges will be filed.

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