(WKBN) – State Troopers say they’re seeing a dangerous and deadly trend in Trumbull County — too many drivers and passengers are impaired and not buckled up.
It’s been a frustratingly busy period for Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers in Trumbull County.
“It’s not easy, you know, seeing this day in and day out,” said Lieutenant Brian Vail of OSHP.
On Tuesday, two people died in a three-vehicle crash on Route 5 in Braceville Township where troopers say the driver at fault was speeding and may have been impaired.
“After talking to some of the family, they seemed to think he may have been under the influence of drugs,” Vail said.
Both that driver, Brandon Grove of Akron, and a passenger in another car, April Davis of Leavittsburg, were killed.
Troopers say neither one was wearing a seat belt.
Early Wednesday morning, a one-car crash on Route 422 in Southington sent four young children ages one to nine to hospitals. They had all been in the back seat.
“It’s still under investigation right now to determine who was properly… but there was only three seats in the back, so someone was unrestrained,” Vail said.
In 2018, there were 12 fatalities in the county, 19 a year later and 21 last year, but already this year, the OSHP has recorded 23 fatalities in 21 crashes.
“There’s been a rise of alcohol and drug impairment as well as failing to wear seat belts,” Vail said.
Aside from trying to educate the public about buckling up, state troopers admit that there’s no single road they can target as far as enforcement, saying the accidents have happened all around Trumbull County, on highways as well as rural country roads.
“We’re putting our troopers out there and we are working overtime and we’re doing everything we can to, obviously, reduce that number,” Vail said.
For now, troopers are reminding drivers that seat belts save lives, speed kills and to avoid getting behind the wheel if you’re impaired.