SEPTEMBER 29, 2006 -- New information released by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Friday sheds some light on what led up to the crash that killed two state highway patrolmen and another woman.
The accident happened in Gallia County at about 5:50 a.m. Thursday.
According to a media release, investigators say that physical evidence collected at the crash scene indicates that Lori Smith, 32, of Vinton, was traveling in the westbound lane of Jackson Pike. The cruiser, driven by Trooper Josh Risner, 29, with passenger, Sergeant Dale Holcomb, 45, was traveling in the eastbound lane of Jackson Pike. Police say the evidence shows that the collision happened in the westbound lanes of Jackson Pike, just west of Mitchell Road.
Investigators say there was heavy front-end damage to the Chevy Silverado, the car driven by Lori Smith, and heavy back-end damage to the patrol cruiser. Both vehicles were significantly burned after the crash sparked a fire. The highway patrol says they didn't have many tire marks to work with due to heavy rain and wet road conditions at the time of the crash.
In the news release, the highway patrol confirmed that the cruiser's emergency lights were on at the time of the crash. Investigators reviewed the tapes of radio traffic just prior to the crash, and it revealed the officers had not been dispatched to a call and there was no radio communications with the Post.
Investigators continue to reconstruct the accident and say they're confident they'll determine the cause.
As a tribute to Sgt. Dale Holcomb, the River Valley High School football team in Chesire will wear Ohio State Highway Patrol Flying Wheel stickers on their helmets during Friday's game.
Tpr. Josh Risner:
Saturday, September 30 @ 11:00 a.m.
Oak Hill High School
Sgt. Dale Holcomb:
Sunday, October 1 @ 2:00 p.m.
University of Rio Grande (Lynne Center)
Monday, October 2