By KATHRYNE RUBRIGHT
A misdemeanor charge against a Findlay police officer who was involved in a January traffic accident was dismissed Tuesday, but a civil case against him is still pending.
Officer Jakob C. Sigler, 28, was eastbound on Tiffin Avenue shortly after midnight on Jan. 29, while Lucinda S. Morris, 66, of Findlay, was driving south on North Blanchard Street, according to the police department’s crash report.
Sigler turned on his overhead lights to go through a red light in order to pull over a separate vehicle, and Morris proceeded through the intersection with a green light, the report said. Neither driver saw the other car, according to the report, and they collided in the intersection.
The front passenger side of Morris’ vehicle hit the front driver side of Sigler’s police vehicle. The Morris vehicle spun around, while Sigler’s car struck a traffic light pole at the southeast corner of the intersection.
Sigler, Morris and her passenger, Peggy Thomas, 44, of Findlay, were all taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital.
Sigler was cited for violation of a traffic ordinance that reads, in part, “The driver of any emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, upon approaching a red or stop signal or any stop sign shall slow down as necessary for safety to traffic, but may proceed cautiously past such red or stop sign or signal with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street or highway.”
The misdemeanor charge in Findlay Municipal Court was dismissed by visiting Judge S. Dwight Osterud, a retired Perrysburg Municipal Court judge.
In a civil suit, Morris, and Peggy and Timothy Thomas are suing the city, the police department and Sigler in Hancock County Common Pleas Court for more than $25,000.
Their complaint alleges that the accident was caused by Sigler’s “negligent operation” of his cruiser.
Morris and Peggy Thomas each suffered “injuries and fractures to her head, neck, shoulders and extremities,” incurred medical expenses and lost income, according to the complaint.
Timothy Thomas, who was not involved in the accident, is suing over medical expenses and being “denied the services and consortium of his wife.”
The defendants have denied the allegations in their response to the suit.