Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Brent Hill making progress from serious head injury

The Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper injured in a crash on Interstate 75 last week is showing "very good signs" as he tries to recover from a serious head injury,  Lt. Matt Hamilton of the Lebanon Post said.

Hill was released from the hospital on March 20 after being there for 21 days.

The patrol is still investigating the Feb. 27 crash that injured Hill, Hamilton said.

"Nothing's really changed (with the investigation)," Hamilton said. "We're trying to get all the witnesses confirmed and interviewed." Hamilton said the prosecutor is still considering possible charges.

Hill, a rookie, had been on the job for a month when he was struck by a car while investigating a crash on northbound I-75 near milepost 36 in Warren County at approximately 11:06 p.m. Wednesday.

Hill and his field-training officer, Trooper Mike Steele, 48, also of the Lebanon Post, were on the scene of a one-vehicle crash involving an alleged drunk driver on the left berm.

Police say Victoria L. Zaagman, 20, of West Chester lost control of her 2001 Dodge Neon. According to police, Zaagman's blood alcohol content was  .049. Zaagman was arrested for failure to control her vehicle and for operating a vehicle after underage consumption.

Neither Zaagman nor her passenger, Hanna Cox, 19, was injured.

Hill was outside the patrol car investigating that crash when a 1996 Buick Riviera driven by Andrew Combs, 22, of Vandalia, Ohio, lost control on the snowy roadway, sideswiped the patrol car and struck Hill and the vehicle involved in the first crash. There were no passengers in Combs' vehicle and no other injuries were reported.

Combs was attempting to change lanes when he lost control, officials said.

Combs remained at the scene and provided a statement to investigators. He was cooperative with the investigation and was released pending further investigation, officials said.

Speed, alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors in the second crash.

Stay with 9 On Your Side and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.


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