GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol investigated two motor vehicle crashes involving fatalities during the Labor Day Weekend.
The Gallia/Meigs post investigated a total of four fatalities in all of 2014, with one occurring in Gallia County and three in Meigs County. This year, the numbers stand at three fatalities in Gallia County and five in Meigs County — a 100 percent increase in fatalities with almost four months left in the year.
Post commander Lt. Max Norris said troopers will be working diligently to reverse this trend.
The Gallia and Meigs sheriff’s offices, he said, dedicated increased manpower to work traffic over the Labor Day holiday. This was an effort to combine forces and have an increased police presence on local roadways.
“Troopers were scheduled to have almost 100 percent of available officers on the roadways,” he said. “Federal grant money was used to fund 91 hours of overtime for the officers to extend their patrols.
The patrol made 752 traffic stops, with 438 enforcement contacts and 314 non-enforcement contacts. OSHP also issued 254 warnings, 126 vehicle defect notices and 73 seat belt violations, and two OVIs and two criminal cases were generated as a result of traffic stops. A total of eight crashes were investigated.
“All in all, it was a busy weekend. Troopers were hard at work, but the fatal crashes still occurred,” Norris said. “The Gallia/Meigs post will begin to focus on the common factors involved in the fatal crashes in an attempt to prevent future occurrences.”
Some recurring factors include:
- Mature Drivers (55-plus) — 63 percent.
- Driving off the roadway or outside marked lanes — 50 percent.
- Alcohol and or drug involvement — 38 percent.
- Failure to wear seat belts — 38 percent.
- Failure to yield at intersections/ stop sign violations — 25 percent.
- Unsafe Speed — 25 percent.
- State Route 143 — 25 percent.
Norris said the public’s assistance is appreciated in preventing crashes. With mature drivers being involved in 63 percent of the crash picture, all suggestions related to speaking with mature drivers and discussing the issue will be considered, he said.
Norris urges people to contact the Gallipolis post for those who would like to contribute to making the community safer.