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Grand jury indicts man for hit-skip crash that killed Cleveland firefighter

Cleveland firefighter Johnny Tetrick
Posted at 2:39 PM, Nov 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-28 14:39:32-05

CLEVELAND — The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office announced Monday that a grand jury has indicted a 40-year-old Cleveland man for the death of Cleveland Firefighter Johnny Tetrick in a hit-skip crash that happened on Nov. 19.

The defendant, Leander Bissell, has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of felonious assault, one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of aggravated vehicular homicide, one count of failure to stop after an accident and one count of failure to comply, the prosecutor's office said.

The crash happened just after 8 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Police and firefighters were stopped on the highway to work a rollover crash that occurred earlier.

Tetrick, 51, was cleaning debris off of the road when he was struck by Bissell, who authorities say drove around a police cruiser and into another lane and accelerated. Authorities said Bissell didn't slow down and immediately drove off after he struck the firefighter. Tetrick was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.

“For over 20 years, Cleveland Firefighter Tetrick served the citizens of Cleveland. Firefighter Tetrick’s death is a heartbreaking tragedy that could have been avoided if Leander Bissell made better choices that day,” said Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley. “My thoughts remain with Firefighter Tetrick’s family, friends, and fellow firefighters during this truly devastating time.”

Bissell was located later that night and arrested by Bratenahl Police.

"After reviewing the video and Ohio caselaw, it is clear that there were foreseeable consequences to the defendant’s actions. His behavior speaks for itself. What transpired that night – the death of a first responder – plainly falls within the scope of risk created by the defendant’s conduct," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

RELATED: Saying farewell to veteran firefighter Johnny Tetrick

Tetrick was laid to rest over the weekend. You can watch more in the player below:

Saying farewell to veteran firefighter

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