A Battle Creek man accused of attempted kidnapping died in a chain-reaction accident involving three semi-trucks in Ohio on Thursday.

A Battle Creek man accused of attempted kidnapping died in a three semi crash in Ohio on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Police said the driver of a semi-truck was slowing down for a vehicle making a turn ahead, when it was rear-ended by another semi, causing a chain reaction crash.

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The second truck was rear-ended by a third semi-truck. Authorities said the crash happened around 9 a.m. on U.S. Route 35 at the Caves Road intersection, three miles west of Jackson, Ohio.

Police said the impact caused fatal injuries to 38-year-old Robert Martinez of Battle Creek, a passenger in the second semi-truck. The driver of that truck, 56-year-old Gregory Goodman of Okemos, Michigan, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Martinez previously faced kidnapping charges in Calhoun County, but the charges were dropped when prosecutors were unable to find the woman Martinez was accused of attempting to kidnap.

Earlier that same day, a Battle Creek mother said she saw Martinez try to grab her children who were in a pool in the backyard of the family home. The mother saw Martinez approach her two boys and yelled for them to run into the home.

In video footage that captured that incident, Martinez could be seen chasing after the frightened children. Luckily, the woman's brother arrived and chased Martinez off.

On May 24, Robert Martinez was charged with a felony count of Attempted Kidnapping and a Misdemeanor charge of Prowling. During the arraignment, Assistant Prosecutor Dan Buscher stated that authorities believe that Martinez and the 34-year-old woman have no prior relationship before the incident. Those charges were ultimately dropped after authorities were unable to locate the victim who is believed to be homeless.

Days after those charges were dropped, Martinez's home was destroyed in a suspicious fire. The Bedford Township Fire Department chief said that it appeared the fire started on a mattress in the mobile home at the time of the incident. Martinez was allegedly staying with family members at the time. He said the doors of the home were supposed to be locked but that fire crews found the doors unlocked upon arrival.

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