16 die in Ohio crashes during Thanksgiving travel period, up from last year

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The State Highway Patrol says 16 people died in 11 crashes around Ohio during the five-day Thanksgiving travel period.

That's up from nine deaths during that same time period last year.

The travel organization AAA estimated nearly 51 million Americans would travel at least 50 miles to celebrate the holiday. That's a 3 percent increase from last year, and the highest number since 2005. 

Seven of the people who died between Wednesday and Sunday in Ohio were in vehicles but weren’t using seat belts, troopers said.

A pedestrian also was among the dead.

The patrol also said its preliminary data indicates troopers made more arrests this year for impaired driving and drug violations during the holiday period: More than 540 motorists were arrested for impaired driving, nearly 300 drug arrests were made. 

More than 1,500 people were cited for seat belt violations.

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