By EILEEN MCCLORY
An internal review found Findlay police officers followed department protocol during a chase last week that ended in a crash that caused a woman’s death.
Crystal K. Moore, 48, of Findlay, died when her car crashed into a house on Hancock County 220 following a police pursuit that began in Crawford County and resumed in Findlay early last Wednesday.
Police pursued Moore after an officer attempted to stop her car in the 2800 block of South Main Street. Moore fled, leading police on a high-speed chase through Findlay.
The pursuit continued north on North Main Street/Hancock County 220 into Allen Township, where Moore’s vehicle crossed the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks in Mortimer, north of Hancock County 216. At that point the driver lost control, went off the road, crashed into a mailbox and hit a house at 3810 County Road 220.
Police Lt. Ryan Doe said the department has a chase protocol that officers have to follow, which includes an internal review to be completed within a week.
The policy requires that officers evaluate circumstances surrounding a pursuit, including roadway conditions, traffic, proximity to schools, condition of the patrol car, how much gas the car has, visibility, time of day and potential hazards.
Officers must use their overhead lights and siren in a marked police car. Two officers are allowed to be involved in two separate police cars, with a supervisor joining in a third car.
Doe said the department’s review found that the pursuit fell within the guidelines of the policy and was conducted in a safe manner.
“The crash itself was beyond the officers’ control,” he said.
The police department undergoes annual training for both driving and pursuits, Doe said.
Several officers in 2017 also learned how to pursue subjects during training at Mid-Ohio, a speedway in Morrow County, Doe said.
“I feel we’ve been very proactive on our training,” Doe said.
The pursuit policy is annually reviewed, Doe said.
Police pursuits are not common occurrences in Findlay. Doe said last week’s incident was the first pursuit in 2018.
In 2017 there were nine pursuits, and in 2016, seven pursuits.
Fleeing from police can be prosecuted as a felony offense.
Last week’s incident remains under investigation and it’s still unclear why Moore fled, Doe said.