Nelsonville Police Officer Killed While Responding To Call

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — A Nelsonville police officer was killed Tuesday afternoon in a car accident.

At around 2:26 p.m., the Nelsonville Police Department received a call about reported gunshots, according to a news release. While the police cruiser was on its way to the scene with its siren lights on, it got into a three-way crash at the intersection of East Canal Street and Myers Street by the Rocky Boots store.

Officer Scott Dawley was taken to O’Bleness Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was 43 and a seven-year veteran of the police department. He leaves behind a wife and seven children.

Gov. Mike DeWine ordered that the U.S. and Ohio flags be flown at half-staff at all public buildings and grounds throughout Athens County as well as at the Ohio Statehouse. The order remains in effect until sunset on the day of Dawley’s funeral.

Dawley’s cruiser struck a water bottle delivery truck driven by David Rardain, 55, who was airlifted to a Columbus hospital, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which is investigating the accident. The delivery truck then struck an SUV occupied by John Carter, 80, and Ginny Carter, 79, who were uninjured.

“This is a tragic event, and I can’t even begin to express how sorry I am for Scott Dawley and his family,” Nelsonville Police Chief Scott Fitch said in a prepared statement.

This incident occurred one week after another Nelsonville police officer was shot while on a call for domestic violence. And in May, a Nelsonville firefighter died after collapsing at the scene of a fire.

“This has been a terrible year for Nelsonville with this incident and the May death of a firefighter,” Nelsonville City Manager Scott Frank said in a prepared statement. “We have become even more keenly aware of the dangers our public safety professionals must endure.”