The Ohio State Highway Patrol said fatal crashes are up in Ohio after the Thanksgiving Holiday, with 16 deaths across the state.
Lieutenant James Faunda said these fatal crashes are a reminder to buckle up. Over half of the deaths this year are a result of drivers not wearing their seatbelts.
Over the holiday, between the St. Clairsville Post and Steubenville Post, crashes and citations were up: over 200 tickets issued, over 20 crashes, and 15 OVI arrests.
Troopers are seeing more people driving impaired on drugs. At the St. Clairsville Post, troopers had two OVI arrests in one night, both drivers impaired on marijuana.
Locally, the issues centered around busy areas like the Ohio Valley mall.
Lieutenant Faunda said another issue troopers are seeing this year is road rage.
“This year, we had a trooper roll up on two guys outside of their vehicle actually fist fighting because of a road rage incident that happened on Interstate 70. In that case, both subjects were placed under arrest and charged with assault. So, when we investigate these types of behavior, we do file charges because it’s bad for the public, you’re creating a traffic hazard when you’re driving in a reckless manner and it’s bad for the danger involved, not knowing if that person’s armed,” said Faunda.
Lieutenant Faunda said if you see someone driving impaired, driving recklessly, or being aggressive, get away from them immediately. Take the next exit or pull into a public place and dial pound 677.
Don’t risk your friends or your family’s life — always designate a driver and always wear your seatbelt.