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State Patrol releases dash-cam video after cruiser struck by suspected-OVI driver in Columbus

In anticipation of the New Year’s holiday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is releasing new dash-cam video to remind drivers about the dangers of impaired driving. The video is from last night when a cruiser, driven by a trooper assigned to the West Jefferson Post, was hit by a suspected-impaired driver on Interstate 270, just north of the Georgesville Road exit while stopped with a disabled vehicle.

The trooper was out of his cruiser talking with the driver of the disabled vehicle when a white pick-up truck, driven by Sherri L. Frank, 44, of Plain City, struck this patrol car in the left rear. Frank swerved to miss the disabled vehicle and went off the right side of the roadway and struck the concrete barrier. The trooper and the passenger of the disabled vehicle were uninjured. Frank was arrested for suspected-OVI and incarcerated in the Franklin County Corrections Center II on Jackson Pike.

This crash was similar to and less than two miles away from where Tpr. Frank Vazquez was killed on I-270 near milepost 7, in November 2001, by impaired driver David Dye. Vazquez was struck while issuing a traffic citation along I-270 when Dye struck his cruiser from behind, causing a chain reaction – sending the cruiser into Tpr. Vazquez.

Dye was arrested for open container and driving under lifetime suspension in November 2011 while on parole, after serving eight years in prison for the death of Tpr. Vazquez.

The Patrol reminds drivers to plan ahead and designate a sober driver this New Year’s Holiday to ensure that everyone makes it to and from their destination safely. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

The Patrol urges drivers to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.

The video can be viewed at www.statepatrol.ohio.gov or on the Patrol’s YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/oshp.

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