OCTOBER 13, 2006 -- The State Highway Patrol says a trooper driving a patrol car that crashed with another car in Gallipolis was legally drunk at the time. He, another trooper and a woman were all killed in the crash.
The patrol says tests show Trooper Joshua Risner showed a BAL (blood alcohol level) of 0.08% and was driving between 60 and 71 miles per hour when he lost control of the car. Shortly after the accident, the patrol said the cruiser crossed over the center line and the rear end of the crusier struck another car headed in the opposite direction.
The other trooper in Risner's car, Sergeant Dale Holcomb, and the driver of the other car, Lori Smith, had not been drinking, according to the patrol.
The Patrol says it has launched a separate but related investigation to determine when and where Risner could have ingested alcohol.
"Putting it mildly, this is a devastating event to the highway patrol, to law enforcement, for something like this to occur," said Lt. William Costas with the highway patrol.
The patrol also reported that Risner was nearing the end of his shift and had just picked up Holcomb, who was starting his shift. The patrol believes the two troopers may have been responding to help an off-duty trooper who was driving his ill child to the hospital.
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