The driver of a semitrailer who had led Hilliard police and other law-enforcement agencies on a below-freeway-speed pursuit around half of Interstate 270 in March will not face any charges.
After the 34-minute pursuit March 15, from about Tuttle Crossing Boulevard on the northwest side of I-270 to Main Street on the east side of the outerbelt, Hilliard police initially charged the 63-year-old Michigan driver with misdemeanor counts of OVI, failure to comply with an officer and failure to drive within marked lanes.
All charges were dismissed after a prosecutor reviewed the case and determined the driver had suffered from a medical condition, Andrea Litchfield, a spokeswoman for Hilliard police, said July 28.
The city’s law director said the medical condition of the driver was a factor in the case.
“The evidence showed that the defendant was suffering from a medical condition that caused his erratic driving, (and) because of that medical condition, we could not prove that he had the requisite mental intent to support a conviction,” law director Tracy Bradford said.
Multiple 911 calls were received at the Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center and Hilliard police first attempted to stop the driver on I-270 south at 7:24 p.m., according to police Chief Bobby Fisher.
“The driver was refusing to comply with our orders to stop, and we initiated a pursuit that went about 25 miles starting in Hilliard and continuing around the I-270 beltway,” Fisher said.
Police deployed “stop sticks” that flattened multiple tires on the truck, but the driver continued moving on rims, Fisher said, adding that speeds by then had decreased from about 65 to 25 mph.
During the pursuit, Fisher said, officers described the driver as looking forward and seldom at pursuing officers but that he slowed for police in front of his truck and stopped when boxed in by police on I-270, near Main Street in east Columbus.
Columbus and Grove City police, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol were involved in the pursuit.