By Linda Dillman
A mid-August vehicle crash sent a Madison Township police officer to the hospital, an alleged drunk driver to jail and a police cruiser to the scrap yard following an accident on Hamilton Road.
Madison Township Police Chief Gary York said the officer was driving northbound on Hamilton Road when he stopped at a red light near the Giant Eagle supermarket. Moments later, he was rear-ended.
York estimated the driver, who had no insurance and was not licensed, was going more than 30 mph when she crashed into the officer’s vehicle, totaling the cruiser.
“Her blood alcohol level was .226,” said York.
In Ohio, the threshold for blood alcohol level is .08 and a high-tier level of .17 or higher results in stiffer penalties and longer jail time.
During a Sept. 11 trustees’ meeting, York asked the trustees to approve the purchase of a 2018 Ford 150 Responder vehicle to replace the 2013 Caprice totaled by the insurance company, as a result of the accident.
The state bid price for the truck is $34,951—plus an additional $3,045 for non-bid items, for a total of $37,996—including title and fees.
York said he initially budgeted for two new vehicles this year, but decided to delay the purchases.
Following the accident and the loss of the 2013 cruiser, he said it was now necessary to replace the car with the pursuit-rated truck. In 2013 cruiser was purchased and outfitted for more than $35,000. York said the new cruiser, once outfitted and with the insurance reimbursement check, will be cheaper than the old cruiser was in 2013.
“This would be a patrol vehicle, like the SUV we currently have, but it would be a sergeant’s vehicle,” said York, who said because of the truck configuration, it could serve a variety of purposes.
“It’s sitting on the lot, ready to go with options,” said York. “Obviously, with a 2019, we would pay more and have to wait.”
The trustees unanimously approved the request.
Blacklick Estates resident Reese Kenney thanked Fire Chief Jeff Fasone for his assistance in resolving a decade-long fire issue.
“I want to give huge kudos to Jeff Fasone,” said Kenney.
Kenney said when Fasone recently asked her if she had any issues or concerns, she told him about a fire hydrant that was removed from her yard about 10 years ago after it was repeatedly damaged by motorists.
“I had a fire hydrant in my yard since the development was built,” said Kenney, “but after the umpteenth time (of car damage); they decided to take it out. I talked with Jeff Fasone, and within a week, he had someone out to look and after that, it was replaced. I now have a bright red fire hydrant in my yard and I thank him for quick action.”