(OH)(03-31-2022) Bluffton Police Officer Struck & Killed while Deploying Stop Sticks

BLUFFTON, Ohio – A police officer in Ohio was struck and killed by a fleeing car on Interstate 75 during a high-speed chase through multiple counties Thursday, authorities said.

The officer, Dominic Francis of the Bluffton police department, was struck around 2:30 a.m. while he was setting up stop sticks, which flatten tires, said Sgt. Brice Nihiser of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The chase had reached speeds up to 120 mph.

Three suspects inside the car drove away for a short distance before they jumped out and ran. One was found nearby while a second one was arrested in a stolen car in Elyria, about 100 miles northeast of Bluffton, Nihiser said.

A third suspect had been on the run for hours but was taken into custody Thursday afternoon, the patrol said.

Francis, 42, had been an officer in Bluffton for the past nine years, said Police Chief Ryan Burkholder. He also worked as a school teacher, bus driver, and football and softball coach with Cory-Rawson schools.

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Officer Dominic Francis
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