Ohio prosecutor: no charges in police officer’s death

CINCINNATI (AP) — The driver of a pickup truck that struck a police officer who died won’t face charges, a prosecutor said Friday.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said “after a … very complete, thorough investigation,” he decided against filing charges in the death of veteran Colerain Township police officer Dale Woods. He said there was no evidence to indicate speed or impairment was involved in the accident, which occurred on a rainy night Jan. 4.

Deters said it was “a terrible tragedy,” not a criminal act.

He said the Cincinnati police investigation included a re-creation of the accident scene, with the fire department spraying water to imitate conditions at the time of the collision.

Colerain Township police said Woods, a 46-year-old father of three, was hit while helping control traffic while emergency crews responded to the crash of a car into a pole. Woods was hit by the pickup as it approached the accident scene.

Authorities didn’t name the driver. Deters said police officers had spent two to three hours with the driver.

Police said Woods was wearing a reflective vest when he was struck while moving traffic cones. He was a 15-year veteran of the suburban Cincinnati police department.

Colerain Police Chief Mark Denney joined Deters’ press conference and said the decision was clearly the right one.

“I feel the investigation honored Dale, and his family was very grateful for everyone’s work on this,” Denney said. He added that he had appointed a committee for an internal review of the accident and to examine any potential changes in procedures that are called for.