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Driver may get license suspended after police cruiser hits her car

Wire • Mar 7, 2013 at 1:14 PM

An Ohio woman’s license may be suspended after a police cruiser collided into her parked car.

Franklin Police Officer Josh Rammel was en route Feb. 27 to Interstate 75 for an emergency involving an injured Ohio Highway Patrol trooper when his vehicle spun out and collided into Amanda Conklin’s parked car on East Sixth Street.

Conklin, a Franklin resident, said she had just returned from Walmart and had been home for about 10 minutes when the Franklin cruiser hit some ice turning left from Anderson Street onto East Sixth Street. She said the police officers investigating the crash said the city would cover the damages.

“I was upfront about not having insurance,” she said. “They still said the city would cover the damages.”

However, when Conklin contacted the city’s insurance carrier Monday, she was told the city would not be paying for the damages because the officer was responding to an emergency.

Police Chief Russ Whitman said state law exempts the city in a collision when they are responding to an emergency. He said if Conklin would have had insurance, she may have had her damages covered by her own policy because her vehicle was parked on the street.

“The unfortunate thing is when we send the accident report to the state, her license is going to be suspended,” Whitman said.

Whitman said the cruiser was towed from the scene and will be repaired. He has not seen any damage estimates on the cruiser.

Conklin said she took her vehicle to a collision center who told her the car was totaled. She is now without a working vehicle.

Rammel was cited for failure to control. Whitman said the traffic citation would serve as his departmental disciplinary action.

“The lesson learned here is to make sure you have insurance,” Whitman said.

Conklin said she spoke with a lawyer who told her the city was exempt from liability when making an emergency response.

“I guess I’ll be taking them to small claims court,” she said. “That’s going to be my next step.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Trooper Brent Hill, 26, of Franklin, was reported in stable condition and has been moved from the intensive care unit at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, according to patrol Lt. Matt Hamilton.

Hill was hit by a car that lost control on a snowy I-75. He sustained a broken leg and suffered head trauma. He is a newly-commissioned state trooper assigned to the highway patrol’s Lebanon post.

“He continues to improve each day,” Hamilton said.

The patrol said Hill was investigating a one-car accident on northbound I-75 just after 11 p.m. when he was hit by a second car that had lost control on the slippery road. The car sideswiped the patrol car, then struck Hill and the first car.

A field training officer who was with Hill wasn’t hurt, but a supervisor said he was shaken up.

Hamilton said the incident remains under investigation.


By Ed Richter - Middletown Journal, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 the Middletown Journal (Middletown, Ohio)

Visit the Middletown Journal (Middletown, Ohio) at www.middletownjournal.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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