The officer was not responding to an emergency call when the crash occurred, the chief said.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HOWLAND -- Three people were sent to hospitals after a patrol officer's cruiser smashed into the front of their vehicle while the officer was on his way to help another officer.
Police Chief Steve Lamantia said this morning that the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating Saturday's crash, which involved part-time patrol officer Timothy J. Albu, 23, of Niles.
The patrol said Albu was headed south on Ridge Road around 8:09 p.m. Saturday when he went left of center and struck a vehicle driven by Chad W. Mitchell, 23, of Niles.
Hospitalized: Mitchell and his two passengers, Cammie R. Kosak, 19, of Niles, and Delbert Lambert, 47, of Niles were taken to local hospitals.
Mitchell and Kosak were treated at St. Joseph Health Center.
Lambert was taken to Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital, then to Akron City Hospital, where he remains in serious condition, hospital officials said. Albu wasn't injured.
Lamantia said Albu, who has been with the department three years, was on his way to assist another officer when the crash occurred.
"Officer Albu had heard on his radio that another officer had stopped a car and one of the people in the car had an active warrant," Lamantia said.
"Officer Albu was on his way to assist the officer, but this was not an emergency call," he added.
Probe is on: Lamantia said he did not know how fast Albu was driving.
The patrol investigation continues.
"This officer will not be treated any differently than any other driver," Lamantia said. "We want to figure out exactly what happened and if our policies and procedures were followed."