Firefighters help track men who fled snowy crash


Staff Report



Courtesy photo A man fled this wreckage on Middle Ridge Road in Amherst Township but was found by tracking his footsteps and using an Amherst fire department thermal imager.


Using a heat-vision camera and following footprints in the snow, authorities tracked down a driver Sunday night who fled from the scene of an Amherst Township crash.

The name of the suspect and many details of the hunt were not available by our deadline Tuesday. An Ohio State Highway Patrol report had not been completed by the trooper in charge of the scene.

A witness said she watched a speeding Honda Civic smash into a telephone pole on Middle Ridge Road about a half-mile from the Rt. 2 ramps, according to Amherst assistant fire chief Brandon Dimacchia. The small car flipped several times before skidding to a rest.

“The damage to the car was so bad that I can’t even describe how bad it was,” he said.

By the time a fire crew arrived, an ambulance and Lorain County sheriff’s deputies were on scene. But the driver had fled, apparently with only minor injuries.

Amherst firefighters joined the search for the driver, using a thermal imager — a heat-sensing camera normally used in burning buildings — and found the man hiding in a shed several houses away from the crash site.

Dimacchia said it’s actually fairly common to use thermal imager at night to quickly find victims who have been thrown from a vehicle and are too injured to speak.

His crew shut down the snow-covered Middle Ridge Road for about 90 minutes for clean-up.

Courtesy photo A man fled this wreckage on Middle Ridge Road in Amherst Township but was found by tracking his footsteps and using an Amherst fire department thermal imager.

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Courtesy photo A man fled this wreckage on Middle Ridge Road in Amherst Township but was found by tracking his footsteps and using an Amherst fire department thermal imager.

Staff Report