Infrared drone used to track down distraught driver after crash

Infrared drone used to track down distraught driver after crash
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:32 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:43 AM EST
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OTTAWA COUNTY, Ohio (WTVG) - A 24-year-old North Olmsted man was tracked down after crashing his car by law enforcement using a drone with infrared capabilities Wednesday morning.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, troopers from the Sandusky Post responded to a reported crash on state Route 2 near Tettau Road in Erie Township in Ottawa County around 5 a.m. on January 18.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived on scene and advised the driver fled on foot. A short time later, troopers arrived on scene and determined an Audi sedan drove off the roadway, struck a utility pole, a fence and multiple gravestones in a cemetery.

Troopers and deputies searched the area for the driver, who was believed to be injured as a result of the crash. A drone was deployed while a thorough search was underway. A caller advised they had seen someone running from a barn and troopers and deputies converged to that area in search of the driver. Once located, the driver failed to obey verbal commands from officers to stop running and continued to flee on foot. He was ultimately taken into custody at approximately 8:19 a.m. by deputies and was turned over to troopers.

The driver was evaluated by emergency medical services personnel. He was determined to be suffering from a mental health crisis and was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and for injuries as a result of the crash. After being released from the hospital, he was booked into the Ottawa County Jail on charges of operating a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property, failure to stop after an accident, and failure to wear a safety belt, all misdemeanors. He was also charged with obstructing official business, a felony.

The incident remains under investigation.

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