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Holiday Weekend Proving Deadly on Roads

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By Allison Brown

This Memorial Day weekend has already proven to be deadly on the roadways. At least four people have been killed in Northeast Ohio, and about a dozen were injured after several accidents.

Most of the accidents have been alcohol-related.

At South Madison and Griswald Roads, Sgt. Ralf Caswell, of the Madison Township Police Department, explained that a car lost control and crashed. The single car accident happened just after 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

"Two people died, and we believe it's alcohol related," Caswell said.

The driver, a man, 52, and his female passenger, 36, died at the scene. Officials tell Fox 8 the driver hit a tree, and the Honda landed next to a telephone pole. Both passengers were not wearing seat belts.

"If you are choosing to drink, please don't drive, and for those people who are getting behind the wheel of a car, please use your seat belt. We could not have had a fatal last [Saturday] night if there was seat belts in use," said Caswell.

Madison Township police snapped pictures at the accident scene on Sunday afternoon, as they investigated the crash aftermath further.

Caswell, a 25-year police veteran, said there is usually more trouble on the roads during a holiday weekend. But sometimes, tough situations just happen.

The Chardon Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol responded to an accident on Sunday afternoon. The accident involved a Jeep and motorcycle in Concord Township at the intersection of state Route 608 and Girdled Road.

Alcohol was not a factor.

"I feel so sad, I really do, I wish that there was something I could have done," said Madeline Fedorka, who witnessed the accident.

Neighbors like Fedorka came rushing to help after the accident. Frank Ernst, 64, was killed after he was hit on his motorcycle at the intersection.

State Highway Patrol spent hours on Sunday recreating the accident scene. Troopers believe the driver of the Jeep didn't stop at a stop sign, consequently the motorcyclist was ejected.

"It hurts I know. He's somebody's father, somebody's son, somebody's husband, you know," Fedorka said.

"My brother got killed on a bike. A guy pulled out and killed him the same way," said witness Tim Simpson.

The Concord resident told Fox 8 he drove up to the accident intersection on his own motorcycle just minutes after the accident. He knows that you can't always prevent an accident, but he tries to be cautious.

"I just go slow and look, look ahead, look at intersections, see if someone is pulling out, just try my best," Simpson said.

Because you never know what the other driver is going to do.

"Please think before you get behind the wheel of a car. If you have been drinking, call a cab," said Caswell.

There have been several holiday weekend accidents thus far, including in Cleveland, Mansfield and Navarre.

Regarding the Navarre accident, officials released information that three teenagers were hurt, and alcohol was also a factor in that particular crash.