For Immediate Release: September 27, 2017
Contact: Lieutenant Steven K. Herron (740) 983-2538
Circleville Post OSHP Cruiser Struck By Semi
CIRCLEVILLE – On Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at approximately 10:51 p.m. a Circleville Post Ohio State Highway Patrol cruiser was struck by a commercial vehicle on IR-71 just south of the Pickaway County line providing assistance to a stranded motorist.
A Circleville Post trooper was stopped on the right berm of IR-71 just south of the Pickaway County line with his emergency lights activated providing assistance to a stranded motorist. A wrecker arrived on scene to tow the disabled vehicle. The trooper partially blocked the right hand lane with his emergency lights still activated for the wrecker driver to safely load the disabled vehicle. While the wrecker driver was loading the vehicle, the trooper had the stranded motorist stand along the grass area of the berm as a precautionary measure. At that time, a 2004 Volvo semi hauling a loaded trailer, driven by Vadim Popovici, 24, of Nevada, failed to move over or slow down and struck the Ohio State Highway Patrol cruiser in the left rear at a high rate of speed. Thankfully due to the trooper’s precautionary measures, nobody was injured. Mr. Popovici was cited for the crash.
“This incident serves as a reminder of the dangers our troopers put themselves in each and every day.” said Lieutenant Steven K. Herron, Circleville Post Commander. “The main goal for each of our officers is to serve the motoring public and go home safely at the end of their shift. Throughout their shift, officers stand inches inches away from vehicles passing by and risk their lives in an attempt to make the roadways a safer place to travel. I encourage motorists to merge over and proceed with caution when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with their overhead lights activated. This violation is an action we as law enforcement are always looking for and take a zero tolerance stance when enforcing it.”
“We have great concern for our staff as they are out serving the public” said Sheriff Robert B. Radcliff, Pickaway County Sheriff. “I want to remind motorists that our officers are out there in dangerous situations to serve them. As a result, motorists should use all due caution when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, slow down, and merge over.”
ODOT will be removing the remaining 6 Prepare to stop when flashing signals in Pickaway County. They have an expected completion date around June of 2016.
In replacement of these lights is going to be a “Smart System” that uses radar to track a motor vehicle at a specific distance and keeps the light green to avoid a vehicle being in a “Dilemma Zone” or the area of the intersection where the light goes from green to yellow. Please see additional information in the below diagrams.
Program Receives Funding for 2016 and Director Resigns
A regular meeting of the Safe Communities of Pickaway County Coalition brought forth a review of the 2015 fiscal year, news that the program will continue in 2016, and the resignation of the Director of the Program.
The Director, Teresa C. Carper, began the meeting by reviewing a letter she presented to Coalition members noting that she would be leaving the Director’s position on October 2, 2015. She thanked the members, the community, and the Sheriff’s Office for their continued support of the program. Safe Communities was started in 2010 to promote traffic safety initiatives in Pickaway County with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The program each year creates a grant proposal submitted to the Ohio Department of Public Safety in order to continue to promote traffic safety messages throughout the county. The Program has received funding for the 2016 fiscal year which begins October 1, 2015.
Carper noted that it has been an honor to serve as the Director and reviewed some of the highlights of the program during her tenure such as the Teen Driver Safety Program. Carper will be moving on to a position with the National SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Office as the Ohio Coordinator. She will continue to work with teen drivers and promote safety throughout the state.
The Sheriff’s Office which holds the grant for the Safe Communities of Pickaway County program has not named an individual to take over the contracted position. Carper will complete reports and file management for the 2015 fiscal year.
A motor vehicle crash in July and one in September noted two fatalities in Pickaway County for the third quarter of 2015. The Safe Communities of Pickaway County Fatal Review Committee reviewed one of these crashes and advised that all safety recommendations be considered by drivers each time they get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
“The Committee noted that this particular crash reviewed shows why drivers need to remember that to ‘Stay Alive’ they should never ‘Text and Drive’, and that driving with any type of impairment can end with negative results”, stated Director Teresa C. Carper. “Also the Committee noted again the need to buckle up when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.”
Motorcycle safety was also a consideration of the crash reviewed, and drivers should remember to continue to “Watch Out for Motorcycles” even though the summer season has ended.
Carper also noted that she would be leaving her post as Director on October 2, 2015, and a new Director would need to review the September 2015 crash, and any other crashes that may end in a fatality. The Committee meets each quarter to review crashes, fatalities, and to make recommendations to promote traffic safety and reduce fatalities in Pickaway County. The Committee is a part of the Safe Communities of Pickaway County Coalition, and the program is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Agencies to Join Together to Fight Impaired Driving
The National Crackdown on Impaired Driving is a time period where law enforcement agencies statewide and nationally will have extra patrols out on highways and roadways in an attempt to stop impaired driving. Locally, law enforcement will work together in Pickaway County to be a part of this statewide and national effort.
“Our Office is committed to use our funding through the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to work with other law enforcement agencies throughout the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign”, stated Sheriff Robert Radcliff. “This includes our partnership with the Circleville Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. We have been a long time recipient of funds to add extra patrols during these specific campaigns and holidays, and we will continue our efforts to keep Pickaway County safe.”
The local post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol also receives funds for enforcement and creates a variety of enforcement plans throughout the year. During “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”, Lt. Steve Herron of the Pickaway Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol will be conducting what is known as “saturation patrols” throughout the Pickaway County area. By creating partnerships with the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office and the Circleville Police Department, all of the agencies will be able to cover the county with extra manpower to fight impaired driving and save lives by removing impaired drivers from our local roadways.
“We are committed to the efforts of saving lives through enforcement in Pickaway County and throughout the state”, stated Lt. Steve Herron, OSP Commander of the Pickaway County Post. “We want to create a joint effort with our law enforcement partners and continue to keep fatalities low in Pickaway County, as well as protect innocent drivers from those who choose to drive impaired. Just like the slogan states…if you don’t ‘Drive Sober’, you will get ‘Pulled Over’.”
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” continues through Labor Day. However, it should be noted that Impaired Driving is an issue that concerns law enforcement throughout the year. If you have a friend or family member that is impaired, never let them get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk”. For more information on this enforcement period, and others throughout the year, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.gov .