Dash cam video released in Newburgh Heights officer's crash - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Dash cam video released in Newburgh Heights officer's crash

Both vehicles sustained major damages. (Source: WOIO) Both vehicles sustained major damages. (Source: WOIO)
Responders say alcohol could be smelled on the driver's breath. (Source: WOIO) Responders say alcohol could be smelled on the driver's breath. (Source: WOIO)
NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - We now have police video showing exactly what happened when a pickup truck barreled into an officer trying to make a traffic stop. We've learned the driver involved may be hard to prosecute on serious felony charges.

Police say the driver, Salvatore Calo, plowed into the back of a Newburgh Heights police cruiser.  

The patrol car camera shows the impact as Officer Shawn Finch pulled out to make a traffic stop. Incredibly, Officer Finch stayed calm and called for help.

"On 77 northbound. I just got rear-ended. Can you send med?"

Police on scene spoke to Officer Finch, saying Calo had been weaving through traffic. Rescuers found he had been drinking.

"He weaved in front of me. He weaved in front of somebody else. Then he went back to the right-hand lane. The cop pulled out. I didn't even see brake lights go on," said a witness at the scene.

"All the firefighters I talked to said he smells like booze. I helped them strap him in the gurney. I could smell it, too. He had admitted," said a responder on scene.

Somehow, Officer Finch escaped with no broken bones, just bumps and bruises. The chief says Finch is already talking about coming back to work. 

Calo is in good condition.  

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating and expects charges for Calo. Since the crash didn't result in serious injuries, it may not lead to felony charges.

We found Calo had been driving with a suspended license, which he has a history of doing. His record also showed he often had no license or failed to get his license reinstated. Calo also has two previous drunk driving convictions. However, since those convictions both happened years ago, there would be no automatic felony for OVI charges.  

If convicted, he is more likely to be sent away for months, not years. 

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