FRANKLIN, Ohio - A day after Joshua Nkansah, 40, of Fairfield, died along with his son and the parents of four kids, the Ohio Highway Patrol says alcohol is generally a factor in wrong-way crashes.
"Wrong-way driving is not something that we see every day. It's a rare occurrence usually but the causes that we normally see are people that are impaired on alcohol or drugs," said Sgt. Stan Jordan of the Ohio Highway Patrol.
The data is sobering.
An average of 360 people per year are killed when drivers drive in the wrong direction into oncoming traffic.
A study by the National Transportation Safety Board examined data from 1,566 crashes from 2004 to 2009. In 59 percent of accidents, the blood alcohol levels of wrong-way drivers was more than twice the legal limit, researchers said.
Alcohol is suspected in Sunday's early morning crash that killed Michele and Scott Barhorst of Madisonville, Tenn. The Barhorsts and their four children were headed to Lima, Ohio, for Christmas.
Nkansah and his son David, 7, died at the scene.
"The cases we see when the people are impaired or they have medical issues generally they don't catch on as quick and sometimes it's a little too late by the time they figure it out," Jordan said. "Don't get behind the wheel when you're impaired. You make think you're OK but all it takes is a mistake and it could be the end of you and your family."
As the Barhorsts tragically found out it, could also mean somebody else's family, too.
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