Investigation Ongoing After Trooper Driving Patrol Car Plows Into Big Rig
Columbus, OH — An Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) Trooper is in serious but stable condition following an accident Wednesday morning when his squad car crashed into the back of big rig.
Trooper Jarid Fitzpatrick, 25, was not on call at the time of the accident around 3:13 a.m. Wednesday morning, officials confirmed.
The incident occurred in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 east of downtown Columbus, near mile marker 101.
Fitzpatrick was operating an official patrol vehicle when, for unknown reasons, he struck rear of a 2020 Freightliner tractor-trailer, operated by 58-year-old Thomas Ervin, of Heath, OH.
Footage from the scene shows Fitzpatrick’s vehicle completely mangled and partially underneath a 53′ Stoughton trailer.
Fitzpatrick was able to radio in the accident right after it occurred and was conscious as crews worked to extricate him from the patrol car, officials stated.
He was transported to Grant Medical Center with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The truck driver was not hurt in the crash.
Shortly following the accident, OSHP stated the rear impact guard on the back of the trailer may have saved Fitzpatrick’s life.
While the guard was broken off in the crash, Troopers said it “most likely” contributed to his survival, local outlet ABC6 reported.
“Everybody is being cooperative with the investigation. It is just going to take time for us to determine what exactly occurred,” OSHP Lt. Nathan Dennis said during a press briefing shortly following the accident.
The patrol car is outfitted with a dash cam, with the computer located in the trunk.
The footage will be used in the investigation, and Dennis said it will be made available after the investigation is complete.
Dennis also stated the patrol car was so deeply wedged underneath the trailer, a wrecker had to be brought to the scene to lift the truck off the OSHP vehicle.
Several lanes of I-70 westbound were closed during clean-up in the early morning hours.
A trooper with Ohio State Highway Patrol is hospitalized after a serious crash on I-70 West.
— Ciara Lucas (@CiaraVLucas) December 15, 2021