Man hits police cruiser while officer investigates crash

CANTON, Ohio - A man struck a Springfield Township police cruiser while officers were investigating another crash.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and Springfield Township police were at the scene of a crash on State Route 241 when the second crash occurred.

Two people were seriously injured in the first crash.

Jessica Thomas, 25 of Barberton, was taken to Akron General Hospital with serious injuries after her car struck a tree.

Thomas was driving a 2001 Ford Taurus southbound on SR 241 when her car went left of center and off the left side of the road. The car then came back across the road and went off the right side. The car struck a traffic sign and a fire hydrant before going airborne and hitting a large tree.

The victim was not wearing a seatbelt and was trapped in the car with her legs pinned under the steering wheel.

Jeffrey Spencer, a passenger in the car, was partially ejected. He was taken to Akron City Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He was also not wearing a seatbelt.

While officers were investigating the first crash, a man driving a 2002 Hyundai northbound on SR 241 tried to drive around a police cruiser which was blocking the area.

The driver, Leeroy Lutz, 52 of Akron, struck the front end of the cruiser and continued through the crash scene until officers were able to stop him.

Lutz was taken to Akron General Hospital with minor injuries.  

The police cruiser was unoccupied at the time of the crash and no officers were injured.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in both crashes.

Both crashes are under investigation by the Canton Post of the Highway Patrol.

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