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Reducing Fatal Crashes

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email
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Their concern is safety on the roads in Washington and Morgan County.

So those who protect it worked together on Friday to find a way to reduce fatal accidents.

"Make sure we're looking at all aspects of the crashes. You know, was it was something with the roadway, something within their life -- did we do everything to make sure that this crash could have been prevented,” says Lt. Carlos Smith, Marietta post commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Smith takes his job very seriously.

"He’s trying to do something productive for the citizens of both counties,” says Morgan County Sheriff Tom Jenkins.

They want to make the roads safer.

"We want to be able to develop better strategies to prosecute cases successfully that need to be prosecuted but also to prevent other fatalities,” says Jim Schneider, prosecuting attorney for Washington County.

In 2013, Washington and Morgan counties had 11 fatal crashes, with 12 people killed.

"We typically investigate anywhere from 900 to 1,000 crashes a year,” Smith says.

Fatal crashes are a real problem for law enforcement and medical personnel but now they're coming together to figure out how to make the roads safer.

According to Smith, they’re looking at a variety of factors, including high visibility enforcement and ODOT getting involved.

Having this kind of meeting makes sense to Schneider.

"Why I’m interested in it because obviously we have to present cases in court quite often and the sharing of information as people get involved," he says. "All are helpful in building cases when cases need to be prosecuted."

Jenkins echoes that sentiment.

"It's just a working relationship to try to make everyone safer,” the sheriff says.

If you see something, call *677 or GRAB-DUI and plan ahead.

“Consider other people when you decide to put your vehicle on the roadway,” Smith says.
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It's a problem they deal with on a regular basis.

So law enforcement and medical personnel met Friday to see how they can reduce the number of fatal accidents on the roads.

Lt. Carlos Smith of the Ohio State Highway Patrol says they typically investigate between 900 and 1,000 crashes a year.

In 2013, Washington and Morgan Counties had 11 fatal crashes, with 12 people killed, including a double fatal accident near Marietta on July 4.

"Make sure we're looking at all aspects of the crashes," Smith says. "You know, was it was something with the roadway, something within their life -- did we do everything to make sure that this crash could have been prevented."

Smith says if you see something, call * 677 or GRAB-DUI to report erratic driving.

Plan ahead and consider those around you when you decide to get behind the wheel.


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