Crashes decline

Auglaize County followed the trend reported across the state, with the number of traffic crashes reported down during the New Year’s holiday weekend.

Weather is expected to have played a role in the decrease in crashes.

Troopers with the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) made 115 vehicle contacts this New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day compared to 119 last year. Forty-one citations were issued both years. Crashes were down to one from six reported in 2011.

Of the traffic citations issued this year, OSHP Wapakoneta Post Commander  Lt. Scott Carrico said two citations were for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OVI).

“Things were pretty quiet for New Year’s Eve,” Carrico said.     “Traffic was light in and around the area and it appears that people stayed in and were not just out driving around.”

He said the weather may also have played a factor, reducing the amount of traffic, despite there still being many snow- and ice-covered roads at the time, Carrico said.

“Regardless of what the reason was for the light amount of traffic, we are very happy that we did not have a lot of problems and everyone made it safely to their destinations and enjoyed their New Year’s celebrations,” Carrico said.

No fatalities were reported in Auglaize County, with six reported throughout Ohio, down from 14 during the same holiday period in 2011, although this year’s reporting period was two days shorter because of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day falling at the beginning of the week.

The official holiday reporting period this year extended from 12 a.m. Monday through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

Throughout 2012, OSHP officials saw a slight increase statewide in fatalities and has continued its commitment to remove dangerous and impaired drivers threatening injury and fatal crashes from the roadways in 2013, OSHP Lt. Anne Ralston said.

The public is encouraged to continue using #677 to report dangerous or impaired motorists, as well as drug activity.