Bluffton Police Officer Killed On Interstate

The Ohio State Highway Patrol revealed at a news conference that a Bluffton Police Officer, Dominic Francis, was killed in the line of duty on Thursday morning.

A pursuit started in Marion County on U.S. 23 around 2 am when State Troopers observed an Infinity traveling at a high rate of speed. The pursuit continued to SR 15 and then on I-75 southbound. In an effort to stop the vehicle, Officer Francis attempted to deploy stop sticks when he was struck by the Infinity and killed. Three occupants in the Infinity traveled a short distance before exiting the car. One of the persons proceeded to steal a Toyota Prius at a residence near Bluffton. A second person was apprehended shortly after and a third person is still on the loose. That person is described as a young, thin, African-American male wearing black pants and a gray sweatshirt.

The Prius was eventually pulled over and stopped near Elyria. The person was arrested at that time.

Law Enforcement is asking the public if they see the suspect to call 419-423-1414 with information.

“This community lost a hero,” said Bluffton Police Chief Ryan Burkholder.

“He was an outstanding police officer and his heart was big.”

Burkholder said not only was Francis a police officer but he was very involved in the community as a teacher, coach and bus driver.

We will have additional information as we learn more.


Photo courtesy of the Bluffton Icon.