9 killed on roads during holiday weekend


COLUMBUS (AP) — The State Highway Patrol says nine people were killed in traffic crashes around Ohio during the Christmas weekend.

The patrol says three people died in drug or alcohol related crashes during the five-day holiday period that began last Friday.

It also says three fatalities were related to the lack of seatbelt usage.

During this year’s Christmas travel period, troopers arrested 404 drivers for operating a vehicle while impaired. They also made 164 drug arrests and issued 635 safety belt violations.

Troopers made 4,600 traffic enforcement contacts; including 404 OVI arrests, 164 drug arrests and 635 safety belt citations. In addition, the patrol made 10,001 non-enforcement contacts including 2,148 motorist assists.

According to a statistical analysis performed by the agency, year-to-date, there have been 1,046 confirmed fatalities on Ohio’s roads; a 10 percent decrease over the same time last year.

In Miami County, a woman was killed in a single vehicle accident on Christmas Day. The driver of the vehicle, Jill Riffell, 56, of Troy, likely fell asleep at the wheel. Riffell’s vehicle veered off the road and struck a tree.

This was the 11th fatality in Miami County in 2018, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.