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Fatal wrong-way highway crashes increase in Ohio

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A wrong-way crash on Interstate 480 took the life of Kayla Coates on Feb. 14, 2016.

DAYTON, Ohio— State transportation records show an increase in wrong-way highway crashes with more deaths so far in 2016 than in all of 2014.

Ohio Department of Transportation records show 47 wrong-way interstate highway crashes with seven fatalities in 2014. Comparable numbers for 2015 weren’t available. But the state has reported 12 wrong-way highway crashes with 16 fatalities and nine injuries so far this year on interstates.

Ohio Department of Public Safety data show 553 wrong-way or wrong-side crashes occurred on all Ohio roads in 2015. That’s up from 467 in 2014 and 446 in 2013.

Data shows most wrong-way crashes on the interstate are the result of drunk or confused drivers getting on exits the wrong way. But officials also are concerned about intentional ones.

In Brooklyn, a wrong-way crash on Interstate 480 took the life of college student Kayla Coates. The other driver, 48-year-old Mark Rafter, is charged with her murder.