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Covington Officer, K9 Involved in I-75 Crash

The K9 officer who was wounded in a shootout last year, and his human handler - Covington Police Officer Michael Lusardi - were involved in a crash on Interstate 75 early Thursday morning.

The police vehicle that the pair was traveling in was struck on southbound I-75 just after 1:30 a.m. causing moderate to heavy damage. The other vehicle fled the scene.

Lusardi was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Florence where he was treated and released. Ernie was transported from the scene by Covington Police and he is currently home but is scheduled for a more in-depth medical evaluation.

Lusardi will be on medical leave pending a follow-up evaluation.

The crash is being investigated by Florence Police.

-Staff report

Photo: Officer Michael Lusardi and K9 Ernie are honored at Covington City Hall by then-Chief Spike Jones in 2015 (RCN file)