State troopers investigate crashes involving Mahoning County She - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

State troopers investigate crashes involving Mahoning County Sheriff cruisers

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CANFIELD, Ohio - A Mahoning County Sheriff's Deputy is recovering tonight after two cruisers crash within minutes of each other and less than a mile apart.

While investigating who's at fault, the State Patrol will also be looking at whether deputies used proper protocol.   

It all began just before 2:30pm on Tuesday afternoon when a Mahoning County Sheriff's Deputy responding to back-up a Canfield officer on a warrant ended up at the center of a crash.  

The crash involved a total of three cars including the cruiser, and happened on U.S. 224 and Hillside Drive.  The deputy, John Tomaino, Jr. was traveling eastbound on 224 according to investigators.

Lieutenant Nakia Hendrix is the Commander of the Canfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, "He (Deputy Tomaino) was traveling with his lights and sirens on.  The light was red for his direction.  He approached the intersection went through, and was actually struck by a north bound car that was on Hillside Drive trying to cross over 224, which had the green light.  After that collision occurred, the deputies patrol car spun and actually struck a stopped north bound car on Hillside Drive, and the deputy also struck a couple more objects before coming to rest in the middle of the roadway."

Just 5 minutes later State Patrol investigators had another accident on their hands involving another Mahoning County Sheriff's Department cruiser.  It was responding to the first crash scene.

The Sheriff's Department has a policy, and 21 News obtained these documents for when a cruiser is running hot.  Even with lights and sirens activated they still have to approach an intersection with caution.

"Through our investigation both of these crashes, those are the things we're trying to determine.  Whether these deputies did that, and whether the other motorists yielded the right away to the public safety vehicles," Lt. Hendrix said."

Anyone who was a witness to either crash is urged to call the Canfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol at:  (330) 533-6866.

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