9 killed in area crashes; ‘It doesn’t matter where you’re going if you don’t get there.’

Troopers warn motorists to watch roadways during Christmas week travel.

Nine people have been killed in fatal vehicle crashes in the region since Friday and the Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging motorists to focus on the road leading up to the holidays.

The rash of automobile accidents began Friday, after a Fairborn High School student was killed in a crash just before noon in Beavercreek Twp.

Three people died in three separate crashes on Sunday in Harrison Twp., Huber Heights and Clark County.

A two-vehicle crash in Harrison Twp. resulted in the death of a woman after a Honda Civic failed to yield on Pittsburg Avenue while crossing the intersection; a 44-year-old man lost control and crashed on westbound Interstate 70 near Springfield; and a 61-year-old utility worker was struck by a car Sunday morning on state Route 4 in Huber Heights, according to police and crash reports.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A 1-year-old was killed and two people were injured Monday night in a pair of crashes that closed both sides of I-75 near Northwoods Boulevard in Butler Twp. and the I-75/I-70 interchange in Vandalia. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a vehicle in the southbound lanes lost a wheel and crashed around 7:39 p.m. The wheel bounced into the northbound lanes and caused another crash.

A 32-year-old Dayton man was killed in a Tuesday crash on I-70, and one person was killed and eight more injured in a pileup that closed all of I-75 near state Route 122.

A crash on I-75 South on Wednesday morning in Vandalia near East National Road killed one person, and a second crash in Clark County has killed at least one person, according to troopers.

At the scene of Wednesday’s crash in Vandalia, a trooper said that a lot of these deadly crashes caused by distracted driving.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re going, if you don’t get there,” said Sgt. Chris Colbert of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Dayton Post. “A large number of these crashes, while there’s an underlying traffic violation, all came down to the fact that people are not paying attention.”

Focusing on the road is even more critical when winter weather rolls in, Colbert said.

The Miami Valley is under a Winter Storm Watch from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 5 p.m. Friday for Champaign, Darke and Miami counties, according to the National Weather Service. Blowing snow, wind, and wind chills as cold as minus 30 degrees are possible.

“Whether we get a lot of snow or not is going to be irrelevant,” Colbert said. “People are going to be traveling for the holidays. Again, you have got to factor in that extra time.

“If you’re going to somebody’s Christmas party, or you’re going to see your family, and you’re an hour late, no one’s going to care. If you don’t show up at all, that’s an entirely different situation,” Colbert said.

So far in 2022, 1,235 Ohioans have been killed in traffic crashes, compared to 1,329 fatalities last year.