Springfield police cruiser in U.S. 40 crash stolen from headquarters

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Scene of stolen police cruiser crash in Springfield

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 1:50 p.m.:

The stolen police cruiser was taken from police headquarters at 130 N. Fountain St. in Springfield according to authorities. We will continue to bring you the latest updates in this developing story.

UPDATE @ 11:42 a.m.:

Impairment and high speeds are suspected to be factors in a crash involving a stolen Springfield police cruiser, according to the Ohio State Patrol Springfield post.

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Lt. Brian Aller, post commander, reported that one witness said she was going to 911 due to the vehicle swerving and cutting off other motorists.

"The driver was extremely reckless and not within the norms in how a police officer would actually drive," he said.

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The suspect, William G. Dufner, is still listed as critical at Miami Valley Hospital as of 11 a.m.

Other witness statements reportedly indicted that Dufner was not wearing a seat belt.

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Aller reported that multiple witnesses said Dufner was "flying."

"I'm guessing he was upwards of 100 mph," said Aller. "Maybe a little less, maybe a little more."

Dufner, who has an extensive criminal history according to Aller, drove the cruiser off U.S. 40 into a ditch and ramped over a driveway before the vehicle flipped.

No charges have been filed, but Aller said that they will be coming.

"The investigation is still pending and the occurrences that happened prior to the crash, we don't have a lot of details just yet," he said. "It's just a matter of getting with Springfield police to find out exactly what.”

UPDATE @ 6:22 a.m.:

A pizza delivery driver said he was one of the first people on the scene of the accident, and assisted the injured driver in the police cruiser.

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Charles, who asked that his last name not be used, said he was returning from delivering pizzas when he noticed the police cruiser on the side of the road. As he got closer he noticed that the car was smoking, although he didn’t see anyone.

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It appeared that the cruiser had crashed, so he wondered if a police officer was trapped and needed help, so Charles pulled over, he said. He cautiously walked toward the cruiser because he didn't know if it was going to blow up.

Just then, another motorist came running toward him and said someone in the car needed help. Both men went closer and noticed a man who police later identified as Dufner in the vehicle, and they helped him to the parking lot of a nearby restaurant, Charles said.

"At this time we tried to get him to talk, but he couldn't," Charles said, noting that Dufner was covered in blood.

UPDATE @ 3:24 a.m.:

The Springfield police cruiser involved in the accident was stolen, according to the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

William G. Dufner Jr., 33, of New Carlisle, was the driver of the vehicle, according to a Highway Patrol press release. He was taken to Miami Valley Hospital and was in critical condition, the release said. However, the hospital said just before 3 a.m. that it did not have a condition for Dufner.

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The accident occurred while the cruiser was eastbound on U.S. 40. The driver drove off the right side of the roadway and struck an embankment, causing the vehicle to go airborne, the release said. The cruiser landed on the embankment and rolled several times before landing on its wheels, according to the press release.

Dufner was not ejected from the vehicle, although he was not wearing a seat belt, the release said.

Charges have not been filed, and the investigation remains under investigation.


A medical helicopter was called to the scene of a rollover accident in the 4100 block of U.S. 40 (East National Road) in Springfield.

The accident was reported around 11:27 p.m. between Bird Road and California Avenue, per initial reports.

The right lane was still closed at 12:30 a.m. for the accident investigation, according to OSP Springfield Post dispatch.

The victim was flown to an area hospital with unknown conditions.

We’ll update this report as details become available.

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