Lorain Co. fatal crashes peak, safety leaders search for solutions

8 more fatal crashes compared to June 2016
Posted at 11:19 PM, Jun 16, 2017

The Lorain County Safe Community Coalition reports eight more fatal accidents countywide compared to the first five months of 2016.

The coalition reports five of the fatal crashes involved victims under the age of 24.

The most recent fatal accident taking place on State Route 58, just north of Webster Road in Wellington Township on June 14.

The Ohio Highway Patrol reports 49-year-old Christine Weeks was killed when her vehicle was hit head-on by an SUV driven by 25-year-old Ray Mckissick.

Troopers said Mckissick's vehicle went left-of-center, and that alcohol likely contributed to the crash.

David Vaughn Junior and his father run Vaughn's Towing on Route 58, and too often see the tragic aftermath of these crashes.

Vaughn Sr. told News 5 the "S" curves on Route 58 have played a role in many fatal Lorain County crashes, as well as impaired and distracted drivers.

"You're left of center before you know it," said Vaughn Sr.  "There have been a lot of fatal accidents in those curves."

"Stop drinking and driving, lay that cell phone down and pay attention to where you're going and what you're doing."

Erin Murphy, Program Manager with the Lorain County Health District told News 5 her agency will now work carefully with police and engineers to try to determine what can be done to stop the increase in fatal accidents.

Murphy said safety surveys may be used to come up with roadway solutions to make potentially hazardous areas safer.

Murphy and Sgt. Pablo Cruz with the Ohio Highway Patrol agreed impaired and distracted driving are principal reasons for the spike in fatal crashes.

"It makes us want to work harder to find a way to stop these accidents," said Murphy.

"These numbers are people, they're families, and we're very aware of that."