'Internal review' pending after deputy crashes cruiser

Cary Ashby • Mar 22, 2019 at 9:00 PM

FLORENCE TWP. — An Erie County sheriff’s deputy faces possible discipline in connection with an on-duty injury crash that totaled the cruiser he was driving.

The crash involving Deputy Benjamin C. Cooper, 25, happened about 8:50 a.m. Monday in Florence Township. According to the report by chief Deputy Jared Oliver, Cooper was eastbound on Ohio 113 when he went left of center, overcorrected and drove off the right side of the road. The report also indicates the cruiser went 89.2 feet before it hit a utility pole, which broke in half.

Cooper, who was wearing a seat belt, was charged with failure to control and speeding.

“There is an internal review on the way,” Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said.

Cooper was transported from the scene with possible minor injuries to Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

“He was treated and released,” Sigsworth said.

The cruiser was damaged on the center front.

“The damage was the result of the cruiser being totaled. … The cruiser is out of commission,” said Oliver, who handled the investigation.

Oliver called Vermilion Municipal Court Prosecutor Wayne Nickoli, “explained the investigation to him” and Nickoli authorized that Cooper be charged, according to the crash report. The chief deputy served Cooper with his citation.

“I reviewed our GPS and L3 video footage as part of the crash investigation. I learned that Cooper was operating the cruiser at 75 mph on (Ohio) 113,” Oliver also wrote in his report.

Norwalk Reflector Videos