State patrol: 15 killed over holiday period

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Early data shows 15 people were killed on Ohio’s roadways over this year’s Thanksgiving holiday reporting period, the State Highway Patrol said Monday.

The deaths happened in 13 crashes between 12 a.m. Wednesday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday, according to the patrol’s statement. In 2018, seven people were killed in seven crashes. The 2019 statistics will be finalized later.

Of the 15 fatalities reported on state roadways, two were pedestrians and two weren’t wearing a seat belt. Two of the deaths also involved impaired driving, according to the patrol.

Troopers said they arrested 389 people for operating a vehicle while impaired and 172 for drugs. A total of 1,002 seat belt and 89 distracted driving violations also were issued, the patrol said.

“The lack of safety belt usage remains a significant problem,” said the patrol’s superintendent, Col. Richard Fambro.