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Wood County law enforcement agencies working together to reduce fatal and injury crashes on rural roads

So far in 2021, there have been 916 rural crashes in Wood County in which 10 crashes were fatal and 214 resulted in injuries.
Credit: Emily Cohen

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Drivers can expect to see more officers in rural parts of Wood County.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Wood County Sheriff's office and Lake and Perrysburg Township police departments are working together to reduce the number of fatal and injury crashes.

Sgt. Ryan Purpura with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said so far this year, Wood County has had 10 fatal crashes and all of them have been in rural areas.

"Four of those 10 have involved youthful drivers ages 15 to 24 ,so it's kind of alarming," Purpura said. "These drivers, they have their whole lives ahead of them."

RELATED: Police identify man killed when semi cab crushed car on I-475/I-75 split

All of the officers WTOL 11 spoke with said these fatal crashes could have been prevented.

"Wearing your seat belt, not driving impaired, not driving distracted, slowing down and driving appropriately for conditions," Purpura said.

Officer Rachel Caputo with the Lake Township Police Department said these crashes don't just affect the families of the victims. 

"It affects the officers that were there to witness it and had to clean up after everything was said and done," Caputo said. "The officer's family. It goes beyond just the person that was injured or the fatality."

RELATED: 6-year-old killed in single-vehicle Monroe Co. crash

Coordinator of Safety Communities of Wood County Sandy Wiechman said one way to help your kid be a safe driver is setting good habits.

"Get them to turn off their phone, get them to not be on their phone when they're in the car," she said.

Wiechman adds there are apps parents can download to track where your kid is and see how fast they're driving. She said Life360 is a popular one. Here is a link to the app in the Apple store.

Several insurance companies are also creating their own. You can find them in your app store.