Driver accused of hitting, killing toddler dies after suspected jail OD

Driver accused of hitting, killing toddler dies after suspected jail OD
Satwinder Singh (Photo: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - An inmate at the Hamilton County Justice Center accused of hitting and killing a 2-year-old boy has died, one day after he was hospitalized in critical condition after a possible overdose in the jail, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

Satwinder Singh, 31, was found unresponsive in his cell just after 4 p.m. Tuesday, said David Daugherty.

He was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead by 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Daugherty said.

A preliminary investigation revealed Singh possibly overdosed on an unknown substance while in custody, Daugherty said.

The Hamilton County Heroin Task Force is investigating.

“The case is ongoing and we have no further comment relating to the investigation,” Daugherty wrote in an email to FOX19 NOW.

Singh was under order by a Campbell County court not to drive or use drugs when he passed out behind the wheel of a red, 2017 Dodge Ram pickup truck Dec. 30, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has said.

The truck ran off the right side of Hopple Street, hit the curb, went up onto the sidewalk and struck Dameon Turner Jr. and his father, Dameon Turner Sr.

The toddler died at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Singh stopped and said he would follow the family to the hospital, according to Deters. But he fled and was found passed out in the truck down the street in a gas station parking lot a short time later.

Cincinnati police said he was high on drugs and had to be revived with Narcan.

Singh had just been arrested the week before in Newport, charged with OVI and cocaine possession on Dec. 22, court records show.

READ MORE: 2-year-old dies after weekend crash; police say impairment a factor

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Singh in January on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of failure to stop after an accident on public road or highway.

Deters said at the time that if they could have filed more charges on Singh, they would have.

"This is a tragedy that should not have occurred,” the police chief said during a Jan. 9 joint news conference with Deters.

“This tragic accident is a reminder that it’s everyone’s responsibility not to drive impaired and how a life can be taken in an instant by a choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle without regard for the people who might come in their path. We all need to deep look at this tragedy and see how we can honor young Dameon’s life.”

Singh faces up to 14 years in prison.

He has pleaded not guilty to aggravated vehicle homicide.

When he made his initial court appearance in the case earlier this year, his lawyer said it was an accident.

But the judge responded it was no accident.

Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Brad Greenberg said it was a homicide, and assigned Singh with a high bond.

The case is scheduled to return to court April 24 for a plea or trial setting, court records show.

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