Car crash that killed three family members ruled double murder-suicide

A single-car crash that killed three Ohio family members last year has been ruled a double murder-suicide.

Authorities say 33-year-old Nicholas Moler, an Iraq veteran who served in the Army Reserve, picked up his grandfather, his son and the family dog on Nov. 28 before intentionally plowing his speeding vehicle into a large tree at 80 miles an hour, WLWT reports. All three men died on impact.

Authorities revealed after a months-long investigation that the vehicle's airbag module showed Moler's gas pedal was pressed to the floor before the crash and that he never attempted to brake or swerve to avoid hitting the tree.

"There wasn't any reason really why he would have left the roadway in the manner that he did or at the speed that he did," said Ohio State Patrol Lt. Randy McElfresh.

Moler's official cause of death was ruled a suicide this week, according to Brown County Coroner Dr. Tim McKinley. An autopsy revealed traces of marijuana were in his system at the time of the crash.

The deaths of 10-year-old Cameron Moler and his great-grandfather, Robert, an 83-year-old retired teacher, have both been ruled homicides. The two were sitting together in the vehicle's back seat when they were killed. Only Cameron was wearing a seatbelt.

The family dog Ellie, who police say was sitting up front with Moler, survived the crash and was found in the woods by volunteers on Dec. 11. She has since been reunited with surviving relatives.

Lt. McElfresh said investigators believed there was something suspicious about the crash from the day the "accident" took place, according to Cincinnati.com.  

Moler rarely picked his young son up from school and had apparently told his estranged wife he wanted to do so on Nov. 28 in order to take Cameron to visit a family member. That relative later told investigators they had no plans to see the father and son that day.

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