A Toledo firefighter will likely face criminal charges after being involved in a single-vehicle crash in West Toledo Monday night.
Todd Steele, a 17-year veteran of the fire department, will likely be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and reckless operation of a vehicle, police said. Mr. Steele, of Temperance, is in fair condition at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, according to a spokesman.
Police said Mr. Steele was driving eastbound on Sylvania Avenue when he lost control at Phillips Avenue and hit a flag pole, a stone monument, a fire hydrant, and a traffic control box. The monument and hydrant flew through the air and smashed into a large stone support pillar at Boyd's Retro Candy Store, 954 Phillips, at 11:44 p.m..
The curb lane of westbound Phillips was closed today because the damage has left part of Boyd's structurally unsound.
The pillar was replaced today with wooden beams, but still was not safe, officials said.
Pam Lloyd-Camp, an owner of the candy store, said she was thankful the store did not have to close today and was "shocked" to learn that the driver was an off-duty firefighter.
"I know some firefighters, and they're upstanding citizens," she said. "It shocks me."
A 10-year veteran of the Toledo Fire Department, Paul Heiss, was involved in a hit-skip traffic crash on Dec. 30 on West Sylvania Avenue near Douglas Road.
Mr. Heiss reportedly rear-ended a vehicle at about 8 p.m. and then backed into a second vehicle before fleeing the scene. One of the victims wrote down the license plate number and, when police went to Mr. Heiss' home, he reportedly appeared intoxicated, police said.
Mr. Heiss has been charged in Toledo Municipal Court with driving while intoxicated, failure to stop after an accident, following too closely, unsafe backing, and failure to display license plates.