SOLON, Ohio (WJW) — A 16-year Solon police officer suffered a serious leg injury in a crash caused by a suspected drunk driver.
It happened after 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, near the intersection of Cochran Road and Hall Street, according to a Tuesday news release from Solon police.
That’s where officer Jim Koretsky, 42, was investigating a reported road rage incident involving an Amazon delivery driver and a sedan, which happened along Interstate 271 in Mayfield Heights, according to the release. A Solon officer stopped the sedan along Cochran Road, near Hall Street. A Glenwillow officer stopped the delivery van and sent it back to the scene of the Cochran Road traffic stop, according to the release.
During the traffic stop, the Amazon driver’s supervisor arrived and parked behind the delivery van which was parked in the northbound lane of Cochran Road, according to the release.
As Koretsky and the supervisor were standing in the road near her vehicle and talking, an SUV rear-ended the woman’s car, pushing it into the delivery van. Koretsky, who was between the car and the van, was struck in the leg.
“My leg is broken,” he can be heard telling dispatchers as he calls for aid, maintaining his balance by hopping on his other foot.
Koretsky was transported to a hospital with a “serious” leg injury, according to the release.
“He is expected to recover, but will require surgery,” it reads.
The Amazon supervisor, a 37-year-old Cortland woman, was struck in the arm during the crash but did not need medical transport, according to the release.
The driver of the SUV, identified by police as 53-year-old Thomas R. Eastman of Cleveland Heights, told police he was not injured. The delivery driver, a 38-year-old Shaker Heights man, was also uninjured, police said.
After the crash, officers observed Eastman slurring his speech and that he had bloodshot eyes, according to the release. He admitted to officers that he had drank wine. He was arrested after failing field sobriety tests. A breath test performed at the Solon jail showed his blood alcohol content was 0.184%, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08%.
Police were conducting a sobriety checkpoint that Friday, but in a different area, according to Solon police Lt. Bill Vajdich.
Eastman has been charged with a felony count of aggravated vehicular assault and misdemeanor counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence and prohibited blood alcohol content. His license was also put on administrative suspension.
Bedford Municipal Court records show Eastman posted 10% of a $25,000 bond and was released. He’s due back in court for a status update on Aug. 16.
The road rage incident will be investigated by another agency, according to the release.