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Man mistakenly declared dead in crash with semi returns home to shocked family


A man mistakenly pronounced dead by the Ohio State Highway Patrol shocked his family by returning home mere hours after the fateful phone call. 

The wreck in question took place on Wednesday, September 8th on Interstate 275 in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

According to Fox 19 News, a motorist was driving along I-275 when they braked and were struck from behind by a semi truck. The force of the impact ejected the driver from the vehicle, killing them on scene. Police then identified the deceased motorist as 42-year-old Elder Tomas Ocampomejia, and contacted his family to share the unfortunate news. 

“[His mother] just went into, like, shock,” said Jasmin Ibarra, close family member to Ocampomejia. 

Ibarra then continued to contact more family and was preparing to notify her 9-year-old-brother of the tragedy when Ocampomejia pulled into the driveway at home. 

“I just went outside running,” Ibarra said. “I needed to see if he was dead or not[…] and it was Elder. And I just opened the door and said, ‘You know you’re supposed to be dead,’ and he just looked shocked and was like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”

The family then contacted authorities and news outlets in an attempt to clear up the case of mistaken identity. 

It’s not clear why the Ohio State Patrol misidentified the motorist killed in the crash, but the county coroner is still working on determining the true identity of the deceased man. The Ohio State Patrol has since confirmed that Ocampomejia was not involved in the fatal wreck. The family says they think they know the connection between the man killed andOcampomejia that may have led to the confusion, but are not yet able to talk about it.

“It feels like someone came back from the dead,” Ibarra said.

“It was crazy,” Ocampomejia said. “It was a long movie for me. It just feels like a movie.”


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