Officer recovering from Riverside-Fishinger accident
The Upper Arlington police officer involved in a crash that killed six is recovering from his injuries, according to police officials.
Officer Shawn Paynter will remain off duty until he is medically cleared to return to work, Upper Arlington Police Chief Brian Quinn said last week.
Paynter, who joined the police force in 2008, is recovering from head injuries sustained Oct. 18 following a collision with a Toyota Corolla at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Fishinger Road.
According to Upper Arlington police reports, Paynter was responding to a report of an armed robbery at McDonald's, 1905 W. Henderson Road, around 1:35 a.m. when the crash occurred.
Perry Township police, which is investigating the crash, said Paynter's dashboard camera shows his police cruiser lights and sirens were activated and that he had a green light when the Corolla pulled into his path.
All six occupants of the Corolla were pronounced dead at the scene. According to police, no one in the vehicle was wearing seatbelts, and a toddler in the backseat was not in a safety seat.
Those killed were the driver, Eid Badi Shahad, 39, and his wife, Entisar W. Hameed, 31, and their daughters, Shuaa Badi, 16, Amna Badi, 14, Ekbal Badi, 12, and Lina Badi, 2.
They were buried at the Islamic Cemetery of Columbus Saturday, Oct. 19, after prayers at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center.
Surviving family members include a grandmother and four sons.
Pending the outcome of the full investigation, Quinn said Paynter is expected to return to work after he is medically cleared.
"He is injured," Quinn said. "A doctor has to clear him first to come to work. I am not a doctor but anticipate he won't return for many weeks, minimally, and likely longer. Once he is medically cleared to return, he will be on administrative leave pending a review."
He said Paynter will be reassigned from his overnight shift while under review.
"During this review, he will be removed from his regular assignment," Quinn said. "There is no time frame for this review and it's all dependent upon when he is medically cleared.
"Administrative review is not disciplinary in nature, but is part of our routine procedure following a critical incident such as this tragic event."
The Badi family arrived in the United States from Iraq via Syria as refugees three years ago and lived in a small apartment on the West Side of Columbus. The couple and their daughters were on their way home from a visit with a friend around 1:30 a.m. Oct. 18 when the accident occurred.
A fund has been set up to help the family. Donations can be made at the Georgesville Road branch of Huntington National Bank, 121 Georgesville Road. Donations also can be made through Muslim Family Services at mfsohio.org, by calling 614-470-2848 or by emailing email@example.com.
Allison Manning of The Columbus Dispatch contributed to this story.