Wrong-way crashes on the rise

Published: Thursday, April 28, 2016 @ 5:51 PM
Updated: Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 5:52 PM

NewsCenter 7 talked with the Ohio Department of Transportation about potential changes that have been discussed in an effort to keep drivers from traveling the wrong direction on Ohio highways.

"It was coming right at me," said the 9-1-1 caller who was almost hit by a wrong way driver last February on Interstate 75. "I just pulled over to the side to get out of the way."

Seconds later, that same wrong way driver struck an SUV head-on. Five people were dead. 

More calls poured came into the 9-1-1 dispatch center including one from a motorist who stopped to try and help the victims. 

"Are they responding to you?," asked the dispatcher. 

"No, nobody's responding," replied the caller. 

Three of the victims were members of the rock band "Counterflux" and they were Justin Neace's best friends. 

"I was just with them the night before and I was supposed to be traveling with them," said Neace. "I dropped my phone. I broke down to my knees and I lost it."

In March, a woman died when troopers said she drove into a semi on Interstate 70. Then, two weeks later, a man died on 70 when he steered into an overpass pillar. In the first three
months of this year, 12 people died in wrong way crashes in our state and 8 of those victims were from Southwest Ohio. 

>>INTERACTIVE MAP: See some of the wrong-way crashes in the area<< 

"One person going 70, and the other person going 70, you're talking about a 140 mile per hour impact," said Lt. Brian Aller of the Ohio Highway Patrol. "The best thing you can do is slow down."

Wrong way crashes make up less than one-tenth of one percent of highway accidents. Yet, they are 100 times more likely to be deadly. The Ohio Department of Transportation said they happen all over but mostly in urban areas. 

ODOT's Matt Bruning said, "The challenge isn't so much what to do as where to do it. Where do you put the counter measures because they're so random?"

Statistics show in many cases, the drivers at fault were hard core drunk drivers. 

"These aren't people who are blowing a 0.08," said Bruning. "These are people who are two or three or four times the legal limit. They are very drunk."

Now, ODOT officials are focusing on new wrong way warning signs. 

"The state has started adding more wrong way signs closer to the ground. They say the material is cheap and they've learned drunk drivers typically have a lower field of vision," said Bruning.

Traffic spikes are not being considered because experts say they actually make ramps more dangerous and they are only effective at low speeds. 

In California, officials are improving warning devices like lights and sensors and the North Texas Tollway Authority is installing red pavement reflectors and flashing lights on exit ramps. Experts say wrong way crashes there have dropped 60 percent.

"We're certainly open to look at anything," said Bruning. "We obviously have to look at is it financially the right thing to do?"

Most everyone we interviewed agree that the best way to prevent wrong way crashes is to keep drunk drivers off the road. 

Justin Neace now wonders what he would do if a car was coming at him on the highway. 

"It's made me realize that anybody can go at any time," Neace said.

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WPAFB Monday Forecast: Soggy day with heavy rain

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 11:40 PM

A false alarm in a building led to a temporary gate closure Wednesday night in Area B, a base spokeswoman said.
Staff Writer
A false alarm in a building led to a temporary gate closure Wednesday night in Area B, a base spokeswoman said.(Staff Writer)

A soggy start to your Monday is expected.

Widespread showers will be around during the morning, some of which could be heavy at times. There is even the chance for a few rumbles of thunder.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ponding on the roads will be a concern through the morning. Even though we’re expecting a lot of rain and clouds Monday, temperatures will warm into the 60s in the afternoon.

> County-By-County Weather

There will be some breaks in the rain during the afternoon and evening.

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24-hour rainfall totals over 2-inches in spots

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 12:26 PM

Here is a list of radar estimated rain totals from Thursday night into early Friday across the Miami Valley.

Steady, and even heavy rain at times worked across the Miami Valley over the last 24 hours.

>>Track the latest with Live Doppler 7 Radar

“Some areas saw more than an inch of rain in this short period of time, leading to some standing water and minor flooding,” Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said.

VIDEO: Mason crews use unique way to clear flooded road

“This rain was also accompanied by embedded thunderstorms that not only brought some gusty winds, but enhanced the rainfall. Areas that were low-lying and prone to this type of flooding were impacted the most.” 

Storm Center 7’s Live Doppler 7 Radar estimated some areas received up to 2.5-inches of rain in a 24-hour period. 

Celina: 0.9-inches of rain

Wapakoneta: 1.2-inches

Bellefontaine: 2.5-inches

Urbana: 0.9-inches

Dayton: 0.9-inches

Kettering: 1.4-inches

Huber Heights: 1-inch

Springfield: 1-inch

Eaton: 0.8-inches

Xenia: 0.9-inches

Troy: 1.4-inches

Sidney: 1.2-inches

Greenville: 1.1-inches

Springboro: 1.4-inches

 

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Flood advisories expire for area counties; Flood watch continues

Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 3:19 AM
Updated: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 2:04 AM

Gusty winds and minor flooding possible.

UPDATE @ 1:41 (Feb. 16): All Flood Advisories issued have now expired, according to The National Weather Service Wilmington. 

UPDATE @ 9:55 p.m.: A Flood Advisory has been issued until 1 a.m. for southern Preble and northern Butler counties, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

Flood Advisory has been issued until 12:30 a.m. for southern Wayne, Union and Fayette counties in east central Indiana. The National Weather Service in Wilmington is reporting that radar indicated an area of heavy rain moving through the area -- 1 to 1 ½ inches in the next hour. 

EARLIER REPORT

Flood Watch remains in effect until Friday afternoon for Shelby, Miami, Montgomery, Logan, Champaign, Clark, Greene, Warren and Clinton counties. A half to 1 ½ inches of rain is possible today. Rising water in streams and creeks is possible. Streets may also experience flooding in low lying or or poorly drained spots. Drivers and those who live near streams or rivers should be cautious. 

DETAILED FORECAST

  • Rain and few storms tonight
  • Locally heavy rain possible
  • Threat for a wintry mix late Saturday

>> SOLAR STORM: Could hit parts of Earth this morning

DETAILED FORECAST

THIS EVENING : Rain will be likely. A thunderstorm is also possible. There is a low risk a storm could produce strong winds. Rain could also be heavy at times and produce localized flooding. Temperatures will hold near 60 degrees.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

TONIGHT: Rain will be likely, locally heavy at times. Gusty winds will remain possible. Temperatures will turn colder by morning, dropping into the middle 30s.

Friday:  Widespread rain continues to slowly drift southeast. Showers should be around through about 8 a.m. before exiting completely. Roads will be wet and there will be some high water or ponding in spots through the morning. Conditions dry out through the day with temperatures in the 50s right now but expected to fall through the day getting into the low to mid 30s for the afternoon. We’ll see broken clouds this afternoon as well.

Saturday:  Clouds will increase with a threat for rain and/or snow showers in the afternoon and evening. Little or no snow accumulation is expected. Highs will be in the upper 30s.

>> County-by-County Weather

Sunday:  Skies are expected to be mostly sunny, although clouds will return late. Highs will be milder, reaching into the upper 40s.

Monday: Rain will develop with mild temperatures in the lower 60s.

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about who could see flooding from the heavy rain Thursday.

Tuesday:  Rain likely with highs soaring into the upper 60s.

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WPAFB Friday Weather: Heavy overnight rain to taper off for morning

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 12:33 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—Rain will be tapering off early in the morning with colder air arriving, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

There could be some standing water in places after overnight heavy rain. Temperatures will slowly fall through the 30s during the afternoon. Skies will clear during the afternoon with partly cloudy skies and chilly conditions tonight.

RELATED: WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Clouds will increase Saturday with a chance for rain and snow showers developing by late afternoon. Precipitation will linger into the early evening and taper off late Saturday night. Highs Saturday will hold in the upper 30s.

Skies will clear Sunday with a warming trend underway. Temperatures will reach into the upper 40s Sunday, then soar into the 60s as rain returns on President's Day.

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