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Published: Friday, 12/29/2006

Wood County deputy cited for speeding

BOWLING GREEN - A Wood County Sheriff's deputy whose cruiser wound up in the Portage River just south of Pemberville last weekend has been cited for speeding.

Robert Myerholtz III, 25, was northbound on Pemberville Road about 3:35 a.m. Saturday when he lost control on a curve just south of Gibsonburg Road.

His cruiser went off the road, struck a guardrail, overturned several times, and came to rest upside down in about five feet of water.

Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said yesterday that Deputy Myerholtz, who was hired in January, 2004, was cited for speeding despite the fact that he was on-duty and responding to a call.

"It was not an emergency. He was responding to a non-injury crash," the sheriff said, adding that the roadway was wet and the deputy was traveling too fast for the conditions.

"He's lucky to be alive," Sheriff Wasylyhsyn said. "The car was totaled and partially under water.

"If he would've been unconscious or trapped in the car, he probably would have died, because no one would have seen him," the sheriff said.

As it was, the deputy, who sustained minor injuries, was able to kick out a car window, get out of the river, and walk up an embankment and out to the road, where a passing motorist called for help.

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