Springfield Officer Not Charged in Fatal Crash
November 6, 2014 by Police Driving
Dashboard camera video from a police officer’s cruiser was critical in determining that the officer wouldn’t face criminal charges for his part in a fatal pedestrian crash.
Steven Rintamaki, 45, died May 25 at the scene of the crash where he ran into the side of the moving cruiser on Lagonda Avenue, according to a Ohio State Highway Patrol report on the accident.
Cruiser cam video along with the state patrol crash report, toxicology results from both Rintamaki and the officer involved and witness statements collected at the scene all went into the decision to not file any criminal charges against the officer, Clark County Prosecutor Andrew Wilson said.
The video showed that officer had no time to react, investigators said. The time from when Rintamaki was in the dark and when he ran into the cruiser is only 1 second.
“Cruiser cam video and body cams and our ability to document what happens in these cases is so important because it’s the truth … it just catches it right there,” said Wilson.
“All we have to do is hit play and it answers a lot of questions about what really did happen,” he added.
The state patrol reports said the officer was driving above the speed limit. But because the officer was on a traffic grant patrol to catch traffic violations and he was driving southbound on Lagonda Avenue pursuing a vehicle he had clocked speeding, his conduct in operation of his vehicle was reasonable, Wilson said.
Rintamaki wasn’t in a cross walk when he walked into the cruiser, crash reports state.
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