An Ohio trooper was fatally struck while he was outside his patrol Thursday on Interstate 90 near Cleveland. Kenneth Velez was conducting traffic enforcement when he was hit. Police have not said any information about potential charges or what led to the crash.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol media release, the accident happened at 12:52 p.m. Velez was outside his patrol vehicle while conducting a traffic stop in the westbound lane of I-90 near McKinley Ave. The trooper was hit by a car along a stretch of the Interstate in Lakewood, Ohio.
Velez was taken to MetroHealth Hospital, but died later from his wounds, WOIO reported.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent, Colonel Paul Pride, stated that Velez soon departure was a tragedy for the OSHP and the Department of Public Safety. He said their prayers go to Velez family during this difficult time. Information about the incident was not released.
But according to Cleveland.com, investigators taped off a Highway Patrol car and one black car on the left shoulder.
Trooper Velez, 48, graduated as a member of the 118th Academy class in November 1989 and due to his unexpected death, his three children are now fatherless.
CBS affiliate WOIO-TV in Cleveland reported that after the fatal incident, all lanes of I-90 West at the I-71 split to Detroit were shut down for several hours. Interstate 90 westbound was expected to remain closed through evening rush hour, The News-Herald said.
The Ohio Department of Transportation stated motorists were diverted off the highway at West 117th. The Cleveland Police Department also assisted with traffic control and closed I-90 directing motorist to Interstate 480. More than a dozen of police cars were on the scene.
Gov. John Kasich also offered condolences to the Velez family and the Highway Patrol, saying the tragedy reminds of the risks courageously born every day by the men and women of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and all law enforcement so that the community can be safe.
The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police also issued a statement regarding the death of the 48-year-old trooper.
“The law enforcement officers of Ohio are grieving the loss of Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Kenneth Velez, who was killed in an on-duty traffic crash in Northern Ohio today. We offer our support and our prayers to his family.”
Source: Dayton Daily News