Ohio 32 runs east and west through Pike County. As of last week it has been getting a little more police attention than usual.
The joint patrol effort by the Ohio Highway Patrol and Pike County Sheriff's Office had been planned as far back as December, but officials say it has taken on new significance in the wake of two recent vehicle accidents that claimed the lives of two children.
As the patrol's Chillicothe post commander put it recently, it's tragic whenever anyone dies in a crash. It's especially hard when it's a child. He says it's easy to lay awake at night wondering what if anything could have been done by way of prevention.
The first accident that sparked those feelings happened on April 10. According to officials, an SUV being driven by a 34-year-old mother was attempting to cross the highway at Coal Dock Road when her vehicle was struck broadside. The force of the crash sent her 11-year-old daughter out of the vehicle. She died later at the hospital
The second crash happened on April 16, just as the stepped up police patrol was on the verge of being launched. In that case, officials say a 66-year-old woman was attempting to cross Ohio 32 at Red Hollow Road. Once again, the vehicle was hit broadside. This time, officials say the woman's 10-year-old grandson was thrown from the car and died later of his injuries.
Investigations into both accidents are said to be continuing at the time this is written.
Authorities say Ohio 32 was marked for stepped up patrols because it is a known high-accident route. And they say failure-to-yield accidents are common.
They say shy of any possible changes that might come as a result of ongoing traffic study, drivers should be more attentive to fully stop at intersections and ensure all is clear.
Source: Chillicothe Gazette, "Agencies eye Ohio 32 after fatal crashes," Jona Ison, April 18, 2014