Provisional numbers released Monday by the State Highway Patrol show 13 people were killed in 11 crashes on Ohio roadways over the Thanksgiving holiday period.
According to a release from the State Patrol, the reporting period was between Nov. 27 at 12 a.m. and Dec 1 at 11:59 p.m. The statistics are two below the four-year average, but are an increase from last year. In 2012, 12 people were killed in nine crashes.
Of the 13 killed this year, seven were not wearing an available safety belt, three were killed in two OVI-related crashes and one pedestrian was killed.
No fatal crashes were reported in Seneca County, according to information from the State Highway Patrol.
"Even though we are encouraged that OVI-related fatalities decreased this holiday, lack of safety belt usage remains a significant problem area," said Col. Paul Pride, patrol superintendent, in the release. "Motorists need to remember that wearing a safety belt is the single most important thing they can do to protect themselves during a crash."
According to the release, the State Patrol arrested 503 drivers for OVI offense during the holiday weekend, a nearly 9-percent increase over last year's holiday.
Odom is Fremont post's trooper of year
The Fremont post of the State Highway Patrol has named Trooper Gary M. Odom as the 2013 Trooper of the Year.
According to a release from the state patrol, Odom, 43, was selected because of his outstanding service during the year. He is now in contention for the district and state trooper of the year award.
Odom, who is originally from San Diego, joined the state patrol in 2004. He also served 13 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Odom lives in Bradner with his wife and four children.