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A veteran Lucas County, Ohio sheriff’s deputy who died Friday in the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio Hospital, arrived there 90 minutes after he suffered a severe brain injury when he fell out of a moving vehicle driven by his girlfriend, authorities said.

Querino Espino, 35, of 722 Diana Drive, Springfield Township, was hurt as he was trying to get out of the sport utility vehicle in which he was riding with at least two other passengers about 2:30 a.m. Sept. 7. His girlfriend, Tracy J. Taylor, also a member of the sheriff’s department, was driving the vehicle in West Toledo when it stopped for the light at Talmadge Road and West Sylvania Avenue.

Mr. Espino was partially out of the vehicle when it began moving again and he struck his head on the curb, Dr. Diane Barnett, a Lucas County deputy coroner, said.

He was then helped back into the vehicle.

Mr. Espino was taken by life squad from his Springfield Township home to the hospital about 4 a.m., Lucas County EMS said.

Mr. Espino, a member of the sheriff’s department since 1998, died of cranial cerebral trauma sustained in the incident.

The manner of his death is pending the outcome of investigations by the Toledo Police Department, Lucas County Coroner’s Office, and Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, Dr. Barnett said.

The incident was reported to Toledo police by a nurse working in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Police yesterday refused to release the report.
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