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Deputy’s cruiser collides with sign

A two-car crash on U.

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

A two-car crash on U.S. 52 involving a sheriff’s deputy’s cruiser and an Ohio Department Transportation vehicle sent two people to the hospital Monday, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Emergency crews responded to the accident just north of Ohio 141 shortly after the call at 12:39 p.m., dispatchers said.

Deputy Sheriff Steve Cartmell was driving a 1996 Ford Crown Victoria when he collided into the rear of an arrow-board sign being pulled by a 1990 GMC ODOT pickup driven by William Lykins, OHP trooper Randy Boggs said.

"Both vehicles were in the westbound lane on U.S. 52," Boggs said. "Lykins was following a tractor with a mower on it and he said he was only traveling about three to five miles per hour. He was pulling behind him an arrow board."

Cartmell was traveling at about 55 miles per hour when he crashed with the slow-moving ODOT vehicle, he said.

"It’s unclear why he didn’t see the sign," the trooper said. "Road conditions were clear, so it’s unclear what could have contributed to the accident. I’m really surprised the accident happened, I’ve worked with Steve for a long time and he’s good at what he does."

Ironton firefighters were called to the scene to assist.

Ironton Fire Chief Tom Runyon said firefighters applied foam to the highway to contain fuel and oil leakage from the wrecked cruiser.

"There was a little fuel down, so we used the foam application to prevent the roadway from becoming slippery," Runyon said.

Both Cartmell and Lykins were transported by Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service crews to River Valley Health System.

Lykins was treated and released.

Cartmell was treated and held at the hospital for observation.

Hospital officials said this morning Cartmell was experiencing several health issues after the accident. He is listed in good condition as of this morning.

Sheriff Roy Smith said the deputy was unable to remember the events contributing to the crash.

"Both vehicles were traveling westbound on U.S. 52," Smith said. "Cartmell said he can’t recall what happened from there. He was transported to RVHS for precautionary measures. Both air bags deployed and he was wearing his seat belt, so, we want to make sure he didn’t receive any neck injuries."

He said the incident was evidence that even law enforcement personnel are prone to an occasional accident.

"We’re not normally the parties involved in motor vehicle accidents," he said. "Deputies are sent through an intensive driving course, but I think this shows that we’re all human and occasionally, accidents do happen."

Boggs said this incident has a lesson to be learned.

"Anytime motorists see signs indicating there is mowing or road work ahead, they should always prepare to change lanes and/or slow down," he said. "It’s unclear what contributed to this accident, but we do handle a number of motor vehicle crashes involving similar situations."