I-TEAM: Fiery overnight crash leaves 1 dead and 2 injured, including Willoughby Hills officer

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WILLOUGHBY HILLS (WJW) — One person is dead and two others injured, including a police officer, following a fiery Saturday night crash in Willoughby Hills. 

According to the press release, the crash happened on Interstate 90 around 9:49 p.m.

“A Willoughby Hills Police Officer on IR 90 near mile marker 187 clocked a silver Corvette at 117 mph in a 60 mph zone heading eastbound,” Willoughby Hills Police Chief Chris Collins states in a press release. “The officer pulled out and attempted to catch up to the speeding car. The violator turned onto IR 271 S/B continuing at a high rate of speed in the left lane of the highway. The officer activated his emergency equipment and a short time later the violator moved right across the lanes and exited at Wilson Mills. The driver lost control of the car striking the large signal control box and burst into flames. The car continued through the intersection and came to rest in the wood line on the south side of the roadway.”

The Willoughby Hills chief told the FOX 8 I-TEAM that the officer approached the burning car, saw no one on the driver’s side, but heard sounds coming from the passenger’s side. 

“The officer moved to that side where he found a male inside, on fire, reached in, and pulled him out and away from the burning car. While doing so, the officer received burns to his hands,” the release states. 

Highland Heights Fire and EMS took the victim and the officer to Hillcrest Hospital. 

The victim was life-flighted to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. He died early Sunday morning.  Police say the victim was a 59-year-old male from East Cleveland and his identity is being withheld pending notification of family.

The police officer was treated and released.

Police added that a 41-year old driver and owner of the car from Richmond Heights, was found at Hillcrest Hospital several hours later. An unknown male dropped him off there.

The crash is being investigated by the Highland Heights Police Department and a Regional Crash Team.

This is a developing story. FOX 8 will provide more information as it becomes available.

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