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Dashcam video shows moments before and after deadly I-275 head-on crash in Sharonville

Police: Drivers of both vehicles killed
275 head-on crash.PNG
i275 DOUBLE FATAL .jpg
Posted at 6:14 AM, Jun 06, 2022

SHARONVILLE, Ohio — Dashcam video recorded a wrong-way driver moments before he crashed into another car on I-275.

Two people were killed after a head-on collision on I-275 near the U.S. 42 exit in Sharonville, according to a release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Investigators said around 10:45 Sunday 69-year-old Frank Smith was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes when he collided with a car driven by 66-year-old Nadyne Hawthorne. Both people were pronounced dead at the scene. Smith and Hawthorne were the only people involved in the crash, police said.

The video shows multiple cars moving out of the way as Smith barreled down the highway. The person who took the video appears to have looped around and caught the aftermath of the crash from the other side of the highway.

Investigators have not said if they know why Smith was driving the wrong way. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. It is the fourth wrong-way crash in two months in the Cincinnati area.

"We're all scratching our (heads) as to what led to that," said Matt Bruning, press secretary for the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Just .01% of all Ohio crashes involve people driving the wrong way, Bruning said.

"They're rare, but boy when they happen, (they are) pretty severe," Bruning said. "It seems like they come in spurts. There's no rhyme or reason to it. Typically when a wrong-way driver is driving on the interstate, they're in the far left lane. So, if you're driving late at night I would just stay as far to the right as I can as you're on the interstate. That just seems to be a pattern that we see for whatever unexplained reason. Most of these drivers are severely impaired by alcohol — and I'm not talking buzzed."

Ohio Highway Patrol spokesperson Lt. Nathan Dennis said it is difficult for law enforcement to be everywhere they need to be to ensure wrong-way crashes do not happen.

"That's why we need the public to help us out by ensuring that they're calling us if they do see something like this," Dennis said.

In several spots, ODOT installed cameras to be able to detect wrong-way traffic and alarm authorities. ODOT requires "Do Not Enter" warning signs at various heights near ramps in 17 counties, along with arrows on the street and reflectors with flashing red lights. The prevention, though, is still in the hands of drivers.

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