On 3/7/18, Whitehall Firefighter, Garry Keiffer, was injured at a structure fire at 229 Robinwood Ave. in Whitehall, OH. Keiffer, Whitehall Firefighter since 1990, was struck by a vehicle while working to get fire hoses connected to battle the fire. The vehicle fled the scene rapidly after striking Keiffer and also drove over hoses which were in the street.
Information was received from an anonymous caller that led police to a possible suspect vehicle. Officers then located suspect Hahkeem S. Houpe, age 19, at an address near the accident scene. Houpe, of Woodnell Ave in Columbus, OH., was arrested and interview by police. Houpe admitted that he was driving the vehicle that struck Keiffer. Houpe stated that he did not see anyone in the roadway until the impact. Houpe stated he did not have a driver’s license and was scared so he drove away.
“We are thrilled that Keiffer’s injuries were not severe,” stated Whitehall Fire Chief Preston Moore. Moore added, “This is another example of why it is important to stop before entering any fire scene. There is a lot of activity within these scenes, and the flashing lights on the fire equipment should remind everyone to be extremely cautious near these scenes.”
Houpe was slated into the Franklin County Jail on charges of Hit Skip (M-1), Driving over Fire Hoses (MM), Driving under Suspension (M-1) and Driving without a valid driver’s license (M-1).