‘A harrowing situation;’ Trucking company issues statement after driver held hostage

VANDALIA — Werner Enterprises has issued a statement after one of its drivers became the victim of an hours-long hostage situation in Vandalia.

A spokesperson for the trucking company issued the following statement:

“A harrowing situation involving a Werner professional driver occurred this morning in west central Ohio. At this time, we know our driver is safe and out of respect for the privacy of our driver and his family, we will not release a name. The Werner driver sustained injuries, and we are focused on making sure he is receiving all the care and treatment he needs. Werner Enterprises thanks the state and local authorities who rescued our driver, and they have our full cooperation during this investigation.”

>> RELATED: Second suspect dies after being shot by troopers at hostage incident near Dayton airport

Troopers shot two suspects accused of carjacking a semi in Madison County and holding the driver hostage during a multi-county chase that ended on Dayton International Airport Access Road.

Both suspects were taken to Miami Valley Hospital where they later died.

This all started around 1 a.m. when London police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the suspects’ vehicle. As an officer was conducting the stop, the suspects drove away. Police Chief Glenn Nicol said they drove to a truck stop outside of London.

Once at the truck stop, they got out of their vehicle and began to run. When an officer tried to tase them, the male suspect pointed a gun at the officer.

>> PHOTOS: Multi-county chase involving semi-trailer ends in Vandalia

The suspects then carjacked a Werner semi with the driver inside of it. As they drove away, the truck hit a London police cruiser.

Law enforcement chased the suspects in the semi through Clark, Greene, Madison, and Montgomery counties before ending near the Dayton International Airport just before 3:30 a.m. From there, negotiations started with the suspects.

OSHP’s Special Response Team (SRT) was also called to the scene around this time.

Approximately 4 hours later, around 7:30 a.m., members of the SRT approached the semi to try and get the victim out, according to OSHP Lieutenant Nathan Dennis. At that point, Dennis said the suspect fired shots at the SRT members. Troopers returned fire, hitting both suspects.

The hostage was removed from the semi and had minor injuries.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations confirmed to News Center 7 Wednesday morning that they were requested to investigate the shooting.

It’s not currently known if any troopers are on administrative leave pending the investigation of the shooting.

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