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Published: Saturday, 2/23/2008

Trooper hurt when SUV hits his parked cruiser

An Ohio Highway Patrol trooper was hurt yesterday when his cruiser was hit by another vehicle on westbound I-475 at the U.S. 23 split in Sylvania Township, authorities said.

Trooper Jason Metzger, 27, who is assigned to the patrol's Toledo post, was treated at Flower Hospital.

The trooper was standing by his cruiser with its emergency lights activated shortly after midnight, investigating a single-vehicle crash, when a westbound sport utility vehicle hit the cruiser.

It barely missed him, Trooper Metzger said after being released from the hospital.

"I was halfway into the cruiser - on the driver's side - reaching for paperwork when I heard him coming up," the trooper said. "I heard the tires squealing. I tried to jump into the cruiser and was barely in when he hit. It happened so quickly."

Mark Post, 47, of Waterville, the SUV's driver, was unhurt. He was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, troopers said.

"This is a combination of poor road conditions and an impaired driver, which could be a deadly combination," post commander Lt. Robin Schmutz said.

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