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Board: Out of control drivers cause Portage fatal crashes

Published: July 14, 2017 4:00 AM

Cars leaving the roadway and drivers failing to control their vehicles are the leading cause of traffic fatalities in Portage County this year, a group who tracks data related to fatal traffic crashes said.

According to the Fatal Data Review Board, part of the Portage County Health Department's Safe Communities coalition, the leading causes of fatal crashes on Portage County roads this year are "off the roadway" and "failure to control."

Portage County saw 12 fatal crashes in 2016, the last of which was on Sept. 10. The next fatal crash occurred seven months later, on April 17, according to the Fatal Data Review Board.

The board met recently to review five fatal crash reports to identify trends and recommend countermeasures to reduce preventable crashes.

Three of the six fatal crashes so far this year have involved drugs and/or alcohol. Seat belts were not worn in three of the crashes. One still is under investigation and not included in the summary. Two crashes earlier this year were found to be caused by motorists' medical conditions.

Lt. Antonio Matos, commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Ravenna post, said troopers receive calls every day from people reporting suspicious impaired driving.

"When you see someone who may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving erratically, call #677. Your call could help get the driver or motorcycle rider off the road and prevent a crash from occurring," he said.


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