An independent prosecutor will handle an investigation into the director of Trumbull County 911 after a request by Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins.
Ernest Cook was involved in a traffic accident on July 14 in which he hit a teenager on a skateboard, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
It happened around 10:15 p.m. at Sunnydell and Crestwood drives in Brookfield Township.
According to Highway Patrol’s report, 17-year-old Michael Isco was traveling east on Sunnydell and was trying to make a right turn onto Crestwood when he realized that he couldn’t turn without running into Cook’s vehicle. Cook was traveling north on Crestwood at the time.
The report says Isco’s foot and leg were run over by Cook’s vehicle, but Cook did not stop after the crash.
Isco told investigators that he was going too fast to make the turn but could have if the car wasn’t coming down Crestwood.
Investigators went to Cook’s home around 10:50 p.m. and spoke with Cook, who they said smelled strongly of alcohol and appeared highly intoxicated.
Cook admitted to driving but said he didn’t realize that he struck the teen, saying he thought it may have been a dog or a squirrel, according to the report. He said he was on his way home when he felt a “bump.”
Investigators said Cook’s son was driving behind him at the time and he stopped to see what happened. Cook told investigators that he didn’t return to the scene of the crash because his son said he would talk to everyone there.
He told officers that he drank two 12-ounce beers when he came home but he did not have anything to drink prior to the crash, according to the report.
Highway Patrol said he failed a field sobriety test and had a blood-alcohol content of .148.
Cook was not charged after the incident. The investigator writing the report noted that he needed to investigate further and present the information to the prosecutor.
Prosecutor Dennis Watkins requested a special prosecutor due to a conflict of interest. As such, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s Special Prosecution Unit is looking into the case.
The Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office has no comment on the case as it’s pending.