Trooper on the mend after being hit by car

COLUMBIANA – A state trooper who has worked for the Columbiana Police Department is home from the hospital after being struck by a car last week.

Sgt. Michael Wilson of the Canfield post said trooper Brian Cowles returned home on Monday after having surgery on his right leg.

According to recent reports from the Journal’s news partner, WKBN Channel 27, Cowles was assisting a driver who was stuck on Interstate 680 in Austintown when he was hit by a car driven by 22-year-old Caila Chambers of Stow.

Cowles reportedly saw the vehicle coming and tried to get out of the way but did not make it in time and suffered a broken right leg.

Wilson said charges have not been filed against Chambers at this point and the crash remains under investigation.

Columbiana Police Chief Tim Gladis posted a message on the department’s Facebook page on Jan. 3, the day of the crash, wishing Cowles a speedy recovery.

On Wednesday the chief said the 22-year-old Cowles came to the department first as a member of their Explorer post when he was still in middle school. After graduating from Poland High School he then moved on to the auxiliary force and later became a part-time dispatcher before taking a job with the patrol, a position he has held for about a year.

“He’s a really good guy, very high-speed, very sharp, very bright. I knew we would never hold onto him as a part-time person. He did very well in the state patrol academy and we are proud of him,” Gladis said.

Wilson said he is not sure when Cowles will be able to return to work.

In other patrol matters, the Lisbon post is continuing to investigate the Dec. 28 crash that claimed the life of Pamela Yeager of Carrollton.

According to the report released this week, 13-year-old passenger Sosha Yeager told a trooper Mrs. Yeager was “coughing violently” and had possibly blacked out shortly before the Chevrolet HHR went off the right side of state Route 164 and into a ditch.

There was no evidence of any evasive action, including the use of brakes, before the vehicle lost control, the report stated.

Pamela Yeager, 42, was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene by Columbiana County coroner’s investigator Sunny Bowers. Sosha was taken by EMS to the Salem hospital with minor injuries while Noah Yeager, 8, and Kelsi Thompson, 13, also of Carrollton, were taken by medical helicopter to Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.

Sgt. Troy Homrighausen said Tuesday the children have been released from the hospital.

Alcohol is not being considered a factor in the crash but the patrol is still awaiting toxicology results of the sample sent to the state patrol crime lab, which is routine protocol in traffic fatalities.

The crash occurred at 2:20 p.m. and was reported to the patrol by two nearby residents. The calls came in only minutes apart, according to the report.