Crash fatalities up this Thanksgiving weekend in Ohio

(WSAZ)
Published: Nov. 27, 2017 at 5:12 PM EST
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Motor vehicle crashes claimed more lives in Ohio this Thanksgiving weekend than the previous year, the Ohio State Highway Patrol says.

During a five-day reporting period, from Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 12 a.m. until Sunday, Nov. 30, at 11:59 p.m., 16 people were killed in 11 fatal crashes.

In 2016, nine people were killed in nine fatal crashes.

Of the 16 killed this year, seven were not wearing an available safety belt and one pedestrian was killed.

Four of the fatalities happened Sunday night in a crash on U.S. 35 in Jackson County.

“The lack of safety belt usage remains a significant problem,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent, in a news release. “Motorists need to remember wearing a safety belt is the most important thing they can do to protect themselves during a crash.”

Arrests for operating a vehicle while impaired, drug violations and seatbelts also increased, according to the OSHP. Troopers arrested 542 drivers for operating a vehicle while impaired, a 15 percent increase over last year. Troopers also made 294 drug arrests and issued 1,541 seatbelt violations.

In the first 10 months of 2017, alcohol involved fatal crashes have decreased by 15 percent, the OSHP reports. During the same time period troopers made more than 23,000 arrests for driving while impaired, an 8 percent increase from 2016. Troopers remind motorists to drive sober and always buckle-up before driving or riding in a car.