CLEVELAND — Three crashes involving police officers on area highways in two days.
The first happened just before 3:30 a.m. Sunday. A Bratenahl police officer was stopped on Interstate 90 to warn drivers of a traffic stop ahead. That’s when police said 27-year-old Natisha Carter plowed into the patrol car. She is facing OVI charges.
Hours later, a North Randall police officer was stopped on Interstate 480 when a driver crashed into the police cruiser. According to police, the driver was not paying attention.
Monday night, on State Route 8, just before 10:30 p.m. a Stow police officer parked in a construction zone was hit.
In all of these crashes, police officers were stopped on the side of area roads with their lights flashing.
“They were doing everything they could to warn approaching traffic there was danger ahead and to change lanes,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Rob Gable.
The Stow crash, police said, was also caused by a drunk driver. According to police, 57-year-old Stephen Eibel is to blame, and it’s not the first time he’s been charged with OVI. Records show he has been convicted for OVI at least four times previously. Twice in 1997, once in 2002, and once in 2013.
“It is frustrating when we see someone convicted of driving under the influence before is again having a problem with substance abuse and is still behind the wheel driving,” added Gable.
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, there were 4662 work zone crashes in 2018 statewide. Fourteen people were killed.
The officers involved all three crashes are expected to be fine.