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Preble County deputy killed in fatal collision

Preble County deputy Joshua Isaac Hamilton died in the doubly fatal incident.
Courtesy of Preble County Sheriff's Office
Preble County deputy Joshua Isaac Hamilton died in the doubly fatal incident.

The Preble County deputy was involved in a head-on collision at 4 a.m. on Monday.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a two-car fatal crash that took place on state Route 503 early Monday morning.

The crash took place between Gratis and West Alexandria, the state highway patrol wrote in a press release.

Preble County deputy Joshua Isaac Hamilton and another individual, Michael Eugene Gayhart II were involved in the crash, which was a head-on collision.

Deputy Hamilton was in a sheriff’s cruiser at the time of the incident.

Both Deputy Hamilton and Gayhart II were pronounced dead shortly thereafter, according to the state highway patrol.

No other individuals were in either vehicle when the crash occurred.

Deputy Hamilton had been with the Preble County Sheriff’s Office since May of 2022, Sheriff Mike Simpson wrote in a statement.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost made a statement to remember the fallen deputy.

“Deputy Hamilton dedicated his life to serving his community. He will be rightfully remembered as [a] hero, Yost wrote. "My heart breaks for all who mourn today, and I pray for comfort for this community and the Preble County Sheriff’s Office.”

Adriana Martinez-Smiley (she/they) is the Environment and Indigenous Affairs Reporter for WYSO. They grew up in Hamilton, Ohio and graduated from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in June 2023. Before joining WYSO, her work has been featured in NHPR, WBEZ and WTTW.

Email: amartinez-smiley@wyso.org
Cell phone: 937-342-2905