Brothers are awarded $235K in patrol-crash lawsuit

Associated Press


The State Highway Patrol has reached a $235,000 settlement in a lawsuit by two southwest Ohio brothers who alleged their vehicle was hit by a patrol car traveling over 95 mph while not using overhead lights or sirens.

The Ohio Court of Claims approved the settlement Tuesday in the lawsuit filed by Daniel Hardin of Englewood and John Hardin of Beavercreek.

The brothers’ complaint says driver Daniel Hardin was westbound on U.S. 35 in Beavercreek Township in Greene County and attempting to turn left when the eastbound patrol-car driven by Trooper Paul Coates struck his car around 1 a.m. April 2, 2013.

John Hardin suffered a lacerated spleen and neck and back injuries; Daniel Hardin had scalp lacerations and spine and skull fractures, according to the lawsuit.

Patrol spokesman Lt. Craig Cvetan said Wednesday that Coates was verbally reprimanded for violation of a work rule because his car struck another vehicle. Coates also was injured, but returned to duty that month.

Coates was driving about 85 mph, trying to catch up to two vehicles that he saw speeding, when the crash occurred, according to the crash report.

Patrol policy says emergency-warning equipment isn’t required while overtaking or intercepting violators unless traffic conditions indicate it would be “prudent,” Cvetan said. He said the decision on using warning equipment is left to the officer’s discretion.

A message seeking comment from Coates was left with the patrol.

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