There were three fatal crashes in less than eight hours over Wednesday and Thursday, and the Highway Patrol hopes stepped up patrols will help prevent such deaths in the future.
In Trumbull County, the Warren post was investigating two fatal accidents Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
About 6 p.m. Wednesday on state Route 305, troopers said Timothy Webb, 61, of Youngstown, was killed after his car ran a stop sign, hit a guardrail and drove down an embankment after a Trumbull County deputy sheriff tried to pull him over for a traffic stop.
Special to the Tribune Chronicle / WYTV 33
Ulysses May, 62, was killed after his Volkswagen collided with another vehicle at East Florida and Homestead avenues in Youngstown. Three others were injured.
The accident is under investigation, but alcohol appears to be a factor, the patrol said.
At 1:30 a.m. Thursday in Johnston, 23-year-old Alisha E. Miranda of Andover was killed when her car could not handle a turn at the state Routes 5 and 88 split, went off the road, hit a tree and caught fire. That crash is also under investigation.
About four hours earlier in Youngstown, Ulysses May, 62, was killed after his car collided with another vehicle at the intersection of East Florida and Homestead avenues on the South Side. Three other people were injured.
The crash - which involved May's Volkswagen and a Chevy Impala - happened when one of the cars reportedly ran a stop sign and was hit broadside by the other.
May's car landed next to someone's front porch. Three others, including a child, were taken to the hospital, according to police.
The victims were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where they were listed in critical condition on Thursday. The child was taken to Akron Children's Hospital in Akron. The child's condition is not known at this time. Police are also investigating that crash.
The patrol announced this week that its District 4 - which is made up of posts in Ashtabula, Canfield, Chardon, Hiram, Lisbon, Warren and Ravenna - will increase its presence through the last three months of the year.
Included in that blitz is an ''October Surprise,'' in which posts will share personnel to work special patrols in specific counties.
The goal overall is to focus on traffic safety and reduce the number of crashes.
An aim of the patrol's traffic blitz is to remind drivers about safety.
Canfield Post commander Lt. Chris Heverely said the traffic congestion on U.S. Route 224 from Canfield through Boardman is the number one problem his troopers encounter. Many accidents there are the result of failure to yield or following another vehicle too closely, he said.
Speed on the stretches of Interstates 680 and 80 and state Route 11 that run through the area also are a problem and some days the patrol will have an airplane overhead to help catch speeders, Heverely said.
In Ashtabula, post commander Lt. Jerad Sutton said almost half of the 16 fatal accidents his post has investigated this year involved alcohol.
Sutton said his post also will be cracking down on seat belt violations, which often accompany alcohol related crashes.
He said the problem area for his post is the northwest quadrant of the county around the Geneva On The Lake area, where there are lots of bars and restaurants that attract lots of people who are tempted to drink and drive.
In November, the district will have a 48-hour period where all four posts will be working the same type of enforcement program and December will feature education and enforcement programs geared toward holiday driving.
The end of the year also will see six ''all-out days,'' where every uniformed trooper that is available will be on the road.
Lt. Brian Holt, commander of the Warren post in Southington, was not available for comment.
In relation to the accident in Youngstown, a motorcyclist ran into the back of a fire truck that was on its way to the crash at the corner of Florida and Gibson avenues. The bike put a minor dent into the back of the truck, which has its lights and sirens on at the time, police said.
The motorcyclist, Ronald Ford, of Youngstown, was taken to the hospital to get treated for a gash on his head. He was cited by police for driving without a valid license.