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Tipster helped authorities catch hit-and-run driver who struck deputy, sheriff says

Deputy was directing traffic on Hamilton Avenue
Hit-and-run driver hits deputy on Hamilton Ave.
Posted at 5:07 AM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-06 18:59:18-04

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The driver suspected of hitting Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy Curtis Taylor in a hit-and-run is in custody, according to the sheriff's office.

Daniel Reynolds, 34, of Fairfield, hit Deputy Curtis Taylor just before midnight Thursday while Taylor was working an off-duty traffic detail on Hamilton Avenue, Sheriff Jim Neil and Capt. Tom Butler said. Reynolds is facing a felony charging of leaving the scene.

Taylor is a 21-year veteran of the sheriff's office who started at the jail and worked his way up to patrol. Butler said Taylor has served in every district the office covers and has gained a "vast wealth of knowledge" from his experience. He's also the father of a 10-year-old girl.

"He's very likable," Neil said. "He has a lot of personality."

Reynolds was driving northbound in a construction zone near Sevenhills Drive when he struck Taylor, dragged him and drove away, authorities said. The driver fled northbound on Hamilton Avenue toward Interstate 275.  

According to the sheriff's office, Taylor's medical condition "is critical but stable." In an update Saturday, spokesperson Doug Daugherty said Taylor was "doing well. Just talked to him. Condition still the same. He is getting stronger."

The deputy's hat, left behind in the middle of the street after a driver hit and dragged him.

The driver behind Reynolds witnessed the incident, stopped and rendered aid to Taylor, Butler said. First responders drove Taylor to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with serious injuries. 

Neil said Taylor was awake Friday morning while being prepped for surgery.

"It's going to take him quite a while to recover from the injuries sustained by being hit by a 3,000-pound vehicle," Neil said.

A marked sheriff’s cruiser was in the intersection with its lights flashing at the time of the crash, and Taylor had been wearing a reflective vest. Butler said the area was well-lit by lights for the construction project.

Authorities found the car Friday morning at the Timber Hollow apartment complex about 6 miles away from the scene of the hit-and-run, according to Butler. He said an anonymous 911 caller reported seeing a car that matched the description of the vehicle from the incident. Investigators found that it also had fresh damage consistent with what happened Thursday night. They arrested Reynolds at a nearby residence and impounded the vehicle.

The crash came less than a month after a hit-and-run driver killed 15-year-old Gabriella Rodriguez as she was running to catch her bus on Harrison Avenue near the border between North Fairmount and East Westwood. Police are still searching for the suspect. 

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Traffic Safety Unit is investigating the crash. Anyone with information should call the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office at 513-825-1500.

Anyone wishing to donate to help Taylor and his family as he recovers can do so here.