Whitehall police have arrested a man in connection with a March 7 hit-skip accident that injured a Whitehall firefighter.
The 19-year-old Columbus man faces a first-degree misdemeanor for fleeing the scene, a minor misdemeanor for driving over fire hoses, a first-degree misdemeanor for driving with a suspended license and a first-degree misdemeanor for driving without a valid license, according to information from Whitehall police.
Whitehall police Sgt. John Grebb said police received information from an anonymous caller that led police to a possible suspect vehicle.
Police found the man at a woman’s residence on Collingwood Avenue later the same day, Grebb said.
Whitehall police identified the Whitehall firefighter who was struck by the man’s vehicle as Garry Keiffer.
Keiffer and other firefighters were responding to a fire at 6:14 a.m. March 7 at a residence on Robinwood Avenue.
Keiffer sustained what were described as “minor injuries” and was transported to Mount Carmel East, where he was treated and released, Grebb said.
The 19-year-old was driving north on Robinwood Avenue when he allegedly struck Keiffer and ran over fire hoses while fleeing the scene, Grebb said.
The teen told police he did not see anyone in the road until the impact and drove away because he did not have a driver’s license and was scared, Grebb said.
Whitehall fire Chief Preston Moore said he is thankful Keiffer’s injuries were not severe and said the accident is an important example for “why it is important to stop before entering any fire scene.”
“There is a lot of activity within these scenes, and the flashing lights on the fire equipment should remind everyone to be extremely cautious near these scenes,” Moore said.
No additional charges against the teen are expected, Grebb said.
The hit-skip crash was the second in the past few weeks in Whitehall.
Police are continuing to press for the witness to a fatal crash Feb. 21 to come forward.
Police on March 5 said surveillance video confirms that a witness driving directly behind the vehicle that struck and killed 57-year-old Phillippe Schlagetter saw the accident.
“It is clear from the footage that the witness saw the accident and even stopped in front of the body,” Whitehall Deputy Chief Dan Kelso said.
Police said Schlagetter was in a crosswalk on Shady Lane Road when the driver of what is believed to be a red SUV, traveling westbound on East Main Street, turned south onto Shady Lane Road, struck Schlagetter and fled from the scene without stopping.
The accident occurred at 10:14 p.m. Feb. 21.
Anyone with information about that accident is asked to call Whitehall police at 614-237-6333.