Deputy charged in crash

Cary Ashby • Dec 21, 2012 at 4:00 PM

A Huron County sheriff's deputy has been charged in connection with a two-vehicle injury crash that disabled both sport utility vehicles.

Deputy Joshua D. Kaufman, 24, of Bellevue, was charged with a turn signal violation (moving in the roadway) in the Ohio 18 crash with the 2006 Jeep Commander driven by Shannon L. Winkle, 37, of 1375 DeRussey Road, Collins. Both drivers were treated for minor injuries at Fisher-Titus Medical Center and released after the crash at 3:49 a.m. Monday.

"I live approximately 1/2 mile from Hartland Center Road. The sheriff's vehicle was almost in my mailbox," said Wayne Ortner in an email to the Reflector.

"The left side of sheriff's vehicle was destroyed; the 'other' vehicle was upside down on south side of road with extensive damage to (the) right side," Ortner said.

Both the sheriff's vehicle, a 2004 Dodge Durango, and the Commander were towed from the Townsend Township crash site with disabling damage. The deputy's sport utility vehicle (SUV) sustained damage to the front end and rear quarter panel.

The state Highway Patrol has released its narrative about what happened.

Both drivers were traveling northwest on Ohio 18. Troopers said Winkle passed the deputy on the left side and Kaufman turned into Winkle's path.

Winkle hit the deputy's SUV on the left front, troopers said. Her SUV went off the left side of Ohio 18, where it overturned and hit a ditch.

Kaufman stopped in the westbound lane.

"He was doing regular patrol," sheriff's Maj. Greg Englund said. "He was checking on a suspicious vehicle that pulled into one of the businesses."

Kaufman is back on duty. Englund said any possible discipline is pending.

"We're still waiting for (the patrol's) report. Once they're finished with their investigation, we'll continue with ours," the sheriff's spokesman added.

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