Toledo Mayor Michael D. Collins suffered cardiac arrest and subsequently crashed into a pole on Sunday afternoon. Authorities said Collins was driving home after a press conference when the incident occurred. Although his prognosis is unclear, officials confirmed the Mayor remains in critical condition.
Prior to the crash, Collins met with Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp to discuss the city’s road conditions.
Between Saturday evening and Monday morning, Northwest Ohio was struck with a major snowstorm. As driving conditions became increasingly hazardous, Sheriff Tharp and Mayor Collins issued a Level Three Snow Emergency.
A Level Three Snow Emergency, which is imposed county-wide, prohibits driving on city streets. The prohibition is meant to prevent traffic accidents and allow plows to clear the streets of snow.
During a 12 p.m. news conference, Collins and Tharp announced that the snow emergency would begin at 3 p.m. During the conference, the Toledo mayor urged residents to be safe and look out for their neighbors during the storm.
“This community has been defined as a community of compassion… Be mindful of your neighbors, particularly the seniors. Look out for them. Clear their walks. See what their needs are. This is a time that a community comes together and defines itself as it relates to its character.”
Following the press conference, Collins stopped at Costco for groceries. However, he was on his way home when he suffered cardiac arrest. As a result, he crashed his vehicle into a utility pole.
As reported by Toledo Blade, Evelyn Johnson and Andra Crisp witnessed the accident and stopped to help. Although the Mayor was trapped inside his vehicle, Johnson and Crisp broke a window and pulled him out of the car so they could perform CPR.
Authorities said the Toledo Mayor was later rushed to the University of Toledo Medical Canter, where he remains in critical condition. Cardiologist Dr. Christopher Cooper credits the good Samaritans with saving the Mayor’s life.
On Sunday evening, Toledo City Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson was sworn in as acting mayor. Hicks-Hudson said she plans to “keep the city running.” However, she doesn’t expect to make any drastic changes in the coming weeks.
As reported by 13 ABC, her first order of business will be monitoring storm clean-up. She will also attend a previously planned meeting with Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne. Hicks-Hudson will also finalize the city’s 2015 budget.
Although the Toledo mayor’s prognosis is unknown, spokesperson Stacy Weber said Mayor Collins is “being heavily sedated and closely monitored.”
[Image via Toledo Blade]