Police car strikes Miami student; victim critical

Police car strikes Miami student; victim critical

Three agencies are investigating why a police cruiser struck a Miami University student, leaving him with critical injuries early Saturday morning.

Police and medical personnel were dispatched at 12:53 a.m. Saturday and responded to West Spring Street and South College Avenue.

The victim, Hunter Heck, 20 of Tipp City, was taken to McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford by ambulance and then by medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Tuesday afternoon he remained in critical condition, according to hospital officials.

Miami University spokeswoman Claire Wagner said Heck, a junior engineering student, has had surgery and is recovering in ICU. A university employee is with Heck and one will remain at the hospital over the weekend.

The intersection where the wreck occurred is controlled by an electronic traffic control device and technical accident investigators from the Oxford Police Department, Miami University Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are conducting a joint investigation.

Ohio Highway Patrol Sgt. Sean Wickman said Heck and his cousin, 19-year-old Nicholas Mara, of Grove City, were walking from a house party when they approached the intersection. They were huddled under an umbrella as they were approaching the intersection, he said.

Wickman said Mara saw the police cruiser had the right of way. Mara stopped and tried to stop his cousin, but Heck took two or three more steps and was struck by the cruiser.

Wickman said it’s suspected that Heck and Mara had been drinking.

The Oxford officer driving the cruiser is off duty until Monday, Wickman said.

WHIO reporter John Bedell contributed to this story.

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