Loudonville Police Cruiser Struck During Welfare Check
On the night of 02/01/2023, Loudonville Police Officers were dispatched to the intersection of Market Street and Main Street. A concerned citizen had called 911 to report a person passed out or asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle near this intersection.
Officers arrived and located the vehicle. The vehicle was on South Market Street at the intersection with Main Street. The Officers saw a male in the driver's seat. The vehicle's engine was turned on, the vehicle was in drive, and the driver had his foot on the brake. The driver was passed out and unresponsive.
For safety reasons, Officers quickly positioned their police vehicles behind and in front of the vehicle. They had their overhead emergency lights flashing so that the driver would immediately identify them as law enforcement. Officers made repeated attempts to get the driver to respond, eventually they were able to wake the driver up. The driver immediately lurched forward and struck one of the Loudonville Police Cruisers.
No injuries were reported.
Officers were able to get the driver to put the vehicle in park and then turn the vehicle off. A roadside investigation was completed, and the driver was arrested for OVI (Operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs). The driver had a BAC of 0.327, four times the legal limit (the legal limit in Ohio is 0.08).
The driver, identified as Steven Luther Dusz, age 36, of Ashland, was charged with OVI, Opened container in a motor vehicle, and Reckless operation. He was taken to the Ashland County Jail.
Loudonville Police Department Sgt. Gorrell said, “Thankfully someone saw this man in his car and called 911. It’s important if you see something that you say something, this could have had a much worse outcome!”