Probe continues into Coitsville cruiser crash

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COITSVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) — The Youngstown and Coitsville Township departments are still trying to piece together the events that led up to a violent crash Wednesday morning on Youngstown’s East Side involving a Coitsville police cruiser.

Early Thursday afternoon, the wrecked cruiser, which was brand new, was returned to Coitsville minus its dashboard camera and recording equipment. They were impounded following Wednesday’s crash that involved a car and driver that were not part of the pursuit.

Officer Donald Dudley was chasing a pair of suspected car thieves when the pursuit entered Youngstown. Seconds later, the cruiser collided with the other vehicle, causing it to flip over and trapping its driver inside. Both the driver and Dudley were taken to the hospital.

Coitsville Township Police Chief Mike Morris said his investigation is at a standstill until he gets the dashboard camera video.

“When we got there on the scene, the light switch was on. The siren switch was on. Even though it was cut, we did take a photo that it was ‘on.’ But like I said, the video will tell everything. Soon as I get my hands on the video,” said Coitsville Township Police Chief Mike Morris.

That video and the dashboard camera are now in the hands of Youngstown police, who are handling the accident investigation. YPD obtained a search warrant to see what’s on the video, which might show not only the crash, but also indicate how fast the cruiser was going during the pursuit.

Morris said the video also will be needed as part of Coitsville’s internal review of the pursuit.

Chief Morris said Dudley is recovering at home, while the other driver, whose name has not yet been released, is reportedly in stable condition.

The chief said Dudley is concerned about the woman driving the other car.

“He’s just got some bruises and he’s sore, but he’s really concerned about the female victim,” Morris said.

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