December 8, 2023

A Kentucky man is facing charges after driving the wrong way and slamming into a police patrol vehicle on Saturday morning, killing a “beloved” K9 and injuring two officers, local authorities said.

The driver of the 2015 Jeep Patriot that struck the Franklin Police Division (FPD) cruiser was identified as 21-year-old Michal T. Sims, of Nicholasville, Kentucky, the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) said in a statement sent to Newsweek on Saturday night. Sims faces charges of felonious assault of a police officer and felonious assault of a police dog.

The fatal crash happened Saturday morning around 10:40 a.m. on South River Street in Franklin, Ohio, a city of nearly 12,000 residents in northwest Warren County, according to OSHP, which is investigating the incident.

Two FPD officers were on patrol with Fury, their K9 partner, and driving southwest when Sims “began traveling the wrong way on South River Street at a high rate of speed” and struck the marked police vehicle with Fury and his handlers inside.

After slamming into the cruiser, the Jeep veered off the road and hit a tree before coming to a stop, OSHP said.

Ohio K-9 Killed in Crash
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating after Franklin police K9 Fury (pictured) was killed this on November 11 when a driver, who was driving the wrong way, struck a FPD patrol vehicle. Two of our police officers were also injured but will return to duty, authorities said.
Franklin Police Division

Newsweek reached out via email and social media on Saturday to the FPD.

OSHP Sergeant Bridget Matt told Newsweek in an email that the speed limit for South River Street is 25 miles per hour and said the preliminary investigation indicates that Sims was driving at roughly 70 mph before striking the FPD cruiser.

Fury was rushed to a local veterinarian where he succumbed to his injuries shortly before 11:40 a.m., OSHP said. The two FPD officers, who have not been identified, suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash and were transported to Kettering Health Franklin for treatment.

Sims is being treated for minor injuries at Atrium Medical Center and will be booked into the Warren County Jail on the two initial criminal charges once he’s released from the hospital, OSHP said.

Troopers noted that additional criminal charges are possible as OSHP continues to investigate the crash. Matt told Newsweek that impairment is not believed to be a factor.

Franklin police took to Facebook to mourn the loss of Fury after the crash, calling the canine officer “beloved” in a post that included the dog’s photo and badge.

“With a heavy heart the Franklin Police Division has lost a beloved member our family,” FPD wrote in the post, also noting that the department is taking the time to “process the loss of our protector” before releasing any additional information about the crash or Fury.

With a heavy heart the Franklin Police Division has lost a beloved member our family. Canine Officer Fury was killed this morning by a driver who was…

Details about Fury, such as his age and breed, were not available as of Saturday night.