By Jeff Gallatin
Veteran North Olmsted police officer Jack Justice has been moved out of the intensive care unit of Cleveland’s MetroHealth Medical Center.
“He’s showing improvement,” North Olmsted police Capt. Ron Cox said, “and he’s doing much better. It’s good that he’s out of the ICU unit.”
Cox said Justice is now able to talk and communicate better after part of the wiring was removed from his jaw.
Justice was injured early March 1 when, after going off-duty and driving home in his car, his vehicle was struck in Liverpool Township by a 1992 Dodge Ram truck with a snowplow attached to it. Justice was Life Flighted to MetroHealth Medical Center after the crash. State highway patrol officials said the driver of the truck, Dalton P. Phillips, 23, of Columbia Station, failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road initially, then struck Justice’s car when the truck went back on the road. Highway patrol officials have said Phillips will face driving under the influence and other charges related to the accident.
Detective Ken Vagase, one of the officers working on the May 9 fundraiser at the St. Clarence church hall to help Justice and his family pay his medical bills, said plans for the event are going well.
Vagase said people’s continued concern for Jack and his family is also appreciated by the family as well as his friends and the department.
“We’re still getting a lot of people calling or asking about how he’s doing and what can be done for Jack and his family,” Vagase said. “It means a lot that people care like that.”
In addition to the St. Clarence event, Applebee’s restaurant in North Olmsted is having a dine and donate event from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today. People can take the ad/flier on page B5 of today’s West Life and give it to the server, and the restaurant will donate 15 percent of the proceeds to Justice’s medical fund. In addition, both the North Coast Credit Union and Fifth Third Bank have set up funds to help Justice and his family deal with bills while he recovers from his injuries.
People can drop off checks to the credit union at 22735 Lorain Road in Fairview Park, or they can make donations at any branch of Fifth Third Bank.