Driver indicted in alleged OVI crash that killed 26-year-old woman

Jayla Gazaway died after she was ejected from the car on Harrison Avenue.
Jayla Gazaway
Jayla Gazaway(Provided)
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Hamilton County grand jury on Wednesday indicted the driver in a deadly single-car crash.

The crash happened around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 5 in the 2000 block of Harrison Avenue in North Fairmount.

Terrence Freeman was driving a 2012 Infiniti G37X when he veered off the road and hit two utility poles, police said at the time.

A 26-year-old woman was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene. Police declined to identify her at the time. The indictment names her as Jayla Gazaway.

Freeman and two other passengers, 32-year-old Kileen Stevens and 26-year-old Garet Pride, suffered serious injuries during the crash. EMS transported them to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Police said in a statement following the crash that impairment was a cause, though excess speed had yet to be determined.

“Miss her very much,” Gazaway’s mother, Yolanda Smith, said. “She was a person who brung the family together.”

Smith remembers Gazaway as a woman who was always smiling and had overflowing love for her family. She says her daughter was “beautiful.”

“Life is too short. She always told me,” Smith said. “Enjoy your life. That’s what she was doing, so I’m going to continue her legacy.”

An arrest warrant went out for Freeman at the same time the indictment came down on Wednesday. As of this writing, Freeman does not appear in Hamilton County Justice Center records as a current inmate.

“He do have to pay for his consequences, his negligence of driving under the influence,” Smith said.

The area of Harrison Avenue where Gazaway died is crash-prone, according to data from the City of Cincinnati.

Spinouts, busted telephone poles and head-on collisions are frighteningly common, leading some Westwood residents to plead for change.

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