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Springdale Police Officer Killed In Crash

kaia grant
Courtesy of WCPO
Springfield Police officer Kaia Grant, 33, was killed in a wreck after her police cruiser was struck by a suspect involved in a police traffic pursuit.

Updated 03/22/2019 at 7:40 p.m.

A Springdale Police officer was killed Saturday night when her cruiser was struck by a suspect involved in a pursuit that started in Elmwood Place.  Another Springdale officer was hurt.

According to the Springdale Police Department, the wreck happened around 8:16 p.m. on Westbound 275 at Route 4.

The officer killed, 33-year-old Kaia Grant, was an eight-year veteran of the Springdale Department.  She was taken by Air Care to UC Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

The department identified the injured officer as Sgt. Andrew Davis, who's been with the department for 30 years.  He was taken to UC West Chester Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Springdale Police Department Public Information Officer Keenan Riordan told reporters Elmwood Place Police had initiated a traffic stop with a suspect who had a felony burglary warrant.

Riordan identified that suspect as 42-year-old Terry Blankenship, who's last know address was in Loveland.

Police said Blankenship fled from Elmwood Place, got on NB 75 at Paddock Road, and then headed on WB 275. 

The two Springdale officers were monitoring the pursuit on their radios and were placing stop sticks on WB 275. 

"It's our belief that Mr. Blankenship then purposely diverted his course of travel to purposely strike our officers, and struck their vehicles," Riordan said.

Both Grant and Davis were outside their vehicles when they were struck.

Riordan said there was a previous report that Blankenship was armed and dangerous, and had threatened suicide by cop.

An earlier department release said a firearm was recovered from the scene.

Blankenship is hospitalized and so far no charges have been filed.

"This is a deep tragedy for our city and for our police officers, and for Kaia's family," said Springdale Police Chief Thomas Wells at a press conference. "I stand here representing everyone in this room as the Springdale Police, I ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and please keep Kaia and her family in your thoughts and prayers."

Springdale Mayor Doyle Webster told reporters this is the first line of duty death in the city's history.  He called Grant's death a senseless tragedy.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating the wreck.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.