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Sheriff OK After Drowsy Driver Slams Into Patrol Car

Sheriff OK After Drowsy Driver Slams Into Patrol Car

Sheriff Terry Lyons

The Morning Journal

January 14, 2011

PERKINS TOWNSHIP, OH — Erie County Sheriff Terry Lyons was not seriously injured in a head-on crash yesterday morning, but Capt. Paul Sigsworth said he did not want to speculate as to when Lyons will return to work.

“We’re very glad the injuries were not worse than they were,” Sigsworth said about Lyons and Terrance Pace, 27, the driver of the Sandusky Register van that hit him. “Cars can be replaced. People can’t.”

UPDATE: Sheriff Lyons doing much better after head-on crash

Lyons was heading to work in his unmarked Ford Crown Vic traveling south on Columbus Avenue. Pace was driving the van north on Columbus when he fell asleep at the wheel and the van veered left of center into Lyons’ cruiser around 7:10 a.m., between Electric and Gilcher Streets, according to Highway Patrol Trooper Shane Zehnder.

Both vehicles suffered heavy damage and Lyons and Pace were taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center. Pace was treated and released while Lyons is listed in good condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Pace and Lyons were wearing seat belts at the time and their air bags deployed.

“Again, another couple of injuries being minimized by the use of seat belts and air bags,” Sigsworth said.

Pace told deputies he was fatigued and his shift started at 2 a.m., according to Highway Patrol Lt. Darryl Edge. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

Sigsworth met with Pace at the hospital and Pace was very concerned with Lyons’ well being.

“He was very apologetic with us,” Sigsworth said.

In addition to Pace’s concern, Sigsworth said he was also pleased with the public response following the crash.

“We’re very appreciative of all the calls we’ve gotten today,” he said.

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