CHESTERVILLE — The father of Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Jason Phillips injured in a crash on Interstate-71 last week said his son is showing signs of improvement.
“He had a CT scan today which requires him to be removed from sedation. He was responding well to stimuli. His right hand has been cold for the past couple of days, but was warm today. Tomorrow will most likely include surgery on his leg and performing a tracheostomy,” his father wrote on social media over the weekend.
An additional procedure will be performed on his feeding tub. He also said he is doing very well and “everything is moving in a positive direction.” He asked for prayers for healing and rest for his son.
According to the Patrol, a call was received of a possible impaired driver near State Route 95 on I-71 about 2:40 a.m. Thursday.
Trooper Phillips responded to the call from the Mount Gilead Post and was struck head-on by another vehicle, being driven by Michael Marchak Jr., 36, traveling southbound in the northbound lanes, causing both vehicles to catch fire.
The OHSP said the vehicle Phillips was dispatched to investigate was the one being driven by Marchak. Another person who had stopped to provide assistance after the crash was also injured.
Phillips remains in stable, but critical, condition. He joined the Patrol as a member of the 164th Academy Class and earned his commission last November.
The Good Samaritan, Koso Tsiboe, 27, of Galloway, was treated for a minor leg injury and released from the OSU Medical Center.
Marchak, of Mansfield, also remains in stable, but critical, condition. He reportedly was driving on a suspended license and has multiple driving infractions.
Northbound lanes of I-71 were closed for several hours after the crash, but were re-opened.
The Patrol continues to investigate. It issued a statement of appreciation on Facebook Friday morning:
“The Ohio State Highway Patrol would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the Good Samaritans who selflessly risked their lives to assist Trooper Jason Phillips yesterday morning. These individuals placed their own lives in danger to pull him to safety before his cruiser became fully engulfed in flames. We also send our sincere appreciation to the first responders who arrived on scene and the medical professionals who worked tirelessly to save Trooper Phillips.
“We are humbled by the unprecedented outpouring of support from agencies throughout the country. To the citizens of Ohio who have reached out and offered their support and prayers for Trooper Phillips, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It is, and continues to be, an honor to serve you.”