15 die in Ohio traffic accidents during long Thanksgiving weekend

Fifteen people died in traffic accidents during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Fifteen people died in traffic accidents during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Monday.

By comparison, seven people died during the same period last year throughout Ohio.

This year’s five-day reporting period went from 12 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. Of the 15 who died, two were pedestrians, two were not wearing a seat belt, and two involved impaired driving.

“The lack of safety belt usage remains a significant problem,” said OHSP Col. Richard S. Fambro, patrol superintendent, in a news release. “Wearing a safety belt remains the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and your friends from being severely hurt or killed in a crash.”

According to the release, troopers arrested 389 people for operating a vehicle while impaired and 172 for drugs. Troopers also issued 1,002 safety belt and 89 distracted driving violations. Throughout the holiday reporting period, troopers also assisted 2,518 motorists.