Fifteen people killed on Ohio roadways over Thanksgiving holiday period

TOLEDO (WTVG) - The Ohio Highway Patrol released provisional statistics from the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and 15 people were killed in 13 fatal crashes from Wednesday through Sunday.

That represents an increase from a year ago when seven people were killed in seven fatal crashes.

Of the 15 kills in 2019, 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," Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent said in a press 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."

Over the five day period, troopers arrested 389 people for OVI and 172 for drug-related charges. Troopers also issued 1,002 safety belt and 89 distracted driving violations.

Throughout the holiday season, troopers assisted 2,518 motorists.

The Patrol also released 2018 OVI statistics in an effort to encourage motorists to focus on impaired driving. In 2018, there were 13,353 OVI-related crashes on Ohio roadways, killing 402 people and injuring 7,884 others. Troopers removed more than 26,600 impaired drivers during that same period.

OVI-related crashes represented 37 percent of all 2018 fatal crashes in Ohio. Troopers from the Toledo Post removed 898 impaired drivers.