DAYTON, Ohio – (WDTN) According to the Ohio Court of Claims, two Miami Valley brothers who were hit by an OSP patrol car last year, settled their personal injury case for $235,000.
A complaint filed on May 29th, stated Daniel Hardin and his brother John were westbound on U.S. 35 on April 2, 2013 trying to turn left on Shakertown Road in Greene County. The complaint said Patrolman Paul Coates was traveling eastbound on Route 35 and struck Daniel’s car. The complaint says the trooper was going in excessive of 90mph with no lights on.
Both John and Daniel suffered injuries including a laceration of the spleen, cervical spine fractures and neck and back injuries. According to the complaint, together they both had medical expenses in excess of $84,000, noting future medical care.
Last April, 2 NEWS spoke with Daniel Hardin about the accident. He said, “from our perspective going at an excessive speed, not having his overhead lights on, we feel the police officer was at fault for this accident.”
OSP told us that trooper was trying to catch up with another vehicle before the crash and confirmed he did not have his overhead lights on.
The Hardin’s attorney, Timothy Chappars told 2 NEWS they are pleased with the settlement and appreciate the state recognizing the issues in the case.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson, Lt. Craig Cvetan said Trooper Paul Coates was given a verbal reprimand after the accident. He said as far as the speeding and driving with no lights on, it’s just part of the job.
“When using a patrol car for traffic enforcement there are many variables that make it difficult to have a rigid set of rules. Our policy on patrol car operation establishes guidelines to ensure a clear understanding of what is expected of each driver. The goal is to ensure troopers conduct traffic enforcement with the safety of the public as a primary concern. It is important to remember that troopers may be completely within the guidelines and within a split second the variables change. Troopers are trained to anticipate these changes and constantly reassess the conditions under which they are operating. They are trained to continuously weigh the need to stop the suspect against the danger it poses to the public. In this case there were two vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed, posing a danger to the public. The trooper did not anticipate a vehicle turning across his path. Safety is always our first consideration when performing our duties,” said Lt. Cvetan.