A suspected drunk driver lost control of his vehicle, hitting a lamp post on South Oval. Credit: Akayla Gardner | Lantern TV News Director

A suspected drunk driver in a white vehicle hit a light pole on West 12th Avenue near the South Oval at approximately midnight on Thursday. A police officer is recovering in an Ohio State hospital after being involved in an earlier collision with the driver.

Lieutenant Jason Garner said officers tried to stop the driver for alleged drunk driving, but the driver took off from the traffic stop. 

“At this time, it [did] not appear there was a pursuit,” Garner said.

The driver collided with a police cruiser at Summit Street and West 12th Avenue, police said.

The driver sped up on West 12th Avenue and lost control of his vehicle, hitting a light pole on campus. He proceeded to exit the vehicle and to flee the scene on foot, heading towards the Oval, but was apprehended by police officers.

Police said the driver was not a student. 

Approximately 10 police cars arrived on the scene after the driver crashed on College Road and West 12th Avenue.

The officer involved in the collision was transported to the hospital and is in stable condition, Garner said.

Sydney Harris, third-year in consumer and family financial services, witnessed the accident. 

“It was a bit scary at first, I mean I wasn’t near the accident, but it was still scary just seeing an accident and seeing that whole situation unfold,” she said.