NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – A central Ohio police department is mourning the loss of one of its own after an officer died while responding to an emergency call.
Nelsonville Police Officer Scott Dawley died Tuesday afternoon in a three-car crash.
Governor Mike DeWine has ordered flags at public buildings in Athens County as well as at the Statehouse to fly at half-staff to honor Dawley.
Nelsonville City Manager Scott Frank said Dawley, 43, was the third most senior officer on the force, mentoring other officers, and was a phenomenal man.
Frank said Dawley was a fun, joking guy.
“A selfless guy is the best way I would describe Officer Dawley,” Frank said.
According to Nelsonville Police, Dawley was responding to a report of shots fired at approximately 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police said the lights and sirens on his vehicle were activated when he crashed into a box truck at the intersection of West Canal Street and Rocky Boots Way. Dawley died at the hospital.
“I can’t imagine what the family’s going through right now and I know the officers are definitely having a hard time as well,” Frank said. “So anything, prayers for those guys, help them get through, is the best thing that can happen.”
The crash comes just a week after a Nelsonville Police officer was shot on the job and just a few months after a Nelsonville firefighter died after collapsing at a house fire. The loss of officer Dawley being felt across the city.
“I don’t think it’s measurable,” Frank said. “We’re a small department, we have 10 folks total, and you know, as a city, we have less than 50, we’re all really close, and I don’t know how to put a number on that, but certainly an impact.”
Dawley served on the Nelsonville Police Department for seven years, leaving behind a wife and four children.
“Tonight, he would have been at the park with his son for football practice, and unfortunately, that’s not the case,” Frank said. “So, I think Scott is a family man, and overall, a really good man.”
The city will update the community when funeral arrangements are announced.