Community Honors Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio — A Willoughby police officer is killed in the line of duty. The fatal crash happened as the patrolman was responding to a call to assist another officer.  

The accident happened on Harmony Lane in Willoughby Friday evening. Police Chief Jack Beckwith said Patrolman Jason Gresko responded to a call to assist another officer. He said the 32-year-old officer was traveling north on Harmony Lane when his cruiser collided with a pickup truck. 

“That preliminary investigation indicates that it turned left into the path of Patrolman Gresko,” Chief Beckwith said. 

The cruiser then went out of control and hit a tree in front of Shirley Kraft’s house. 

“And, this tree took about half of the car off, on the left-hand side.  And, spun it out,” Kraft said. 

She said the officer was not breathing. 

“He wasn’t responding to the cops’ commands, talk.  We tried to talk to him, he wouldn’t talk, Kraft added. 

Chief Beckwith said the cause of the accident is still being investigated. 

“We know he had the lights on because they were still on.”   

It is yet to be determined whether the cruiser’s siren was also on and whether the rainy weather may have contributed to the accident.  

“It was dark.  And, that truck was dark,” Kraft added. 

No one in the truck was injured. 

People continued to stop at the scene of the accident Saturday, pausing to remember a fallen officer who died doing his job. Officer Gresko leaves behind a wife and young daughter.