Troopers warning drivers to be careful this Christmas after fatal crashes reported

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BROOK PARK, Ohio (WJW) -- As drivers travel to visit loved ones this holiday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is increasing patrols in order to keep the roadways safe.

According to OSHP, Cuyahoga County leads the state in the amount of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day crashes with more than 200 crashes occurring over the past two years during the two-day window.

He said last year at this time there were 23 injury crashes and one fatality.

"Cuyahoga county does have a large population compared to the rest of the state, there's always traffic day and night," said Sgt. Michael Hounshell of the Brook Park post.

Sgt. Hounshell was on scene for a deadly crash Christmas Eve in Brooklyn Heights on I-480 eastbound and State Route 176 in Cuyahoga County. The crash occurred just before 4 p.m. The victim, a 35-year-old Cleveland woman was not wearing a seat belt, according to state patrol.

"Unfortunately a vehicle attempted to get on I-480 eastbound and it went off the road down an embankment and struck a median wall," he explained.

The Canton Post of the OSHP is investigating a deadly three vehicle crash in Paris Township that happened Tuesday around 9 p.m.

Investigators said a 29-year-old Minerva man died after losing control of his vehicle negotiating a curve on US Route 30 near milepost 30. He was not wearing a seat belt.

Troopers are also investigating a deadly crash in Green Township along Honeytown Road and Smithville Western Road that occurred at 9:25 p.m. Tuesday. An 87-year-old passenger was struck by another vehicle who failed to stop at a stop sign. Investigators said alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

"Make sure you find a ride if you've been drinking and wear your seat belt. We want everyone to buckle up every time," said the sergeant.

A message troopers hope drivers take to heart this holiday travel season.

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