One person died last Friday afternoon after a three-car wreck in Butler County involving two cars and a dump truck, officials said.
The dump truck was traveling westbound on State Route 73 around 2:30 p.m. near Wayne Township when it struck a car traveling southbound on Jacksonburg Road, according to a preliminary investigation by the Butler County Sheriff's Office. The person in the car was pronounced dead at the scene, and two others were injured.
This was just the first of three crashes in the Butler County area that Friday, all requiring AirCare for the injured passengers. These accidents, though, are not out of the ordinary for Butler County.
Fairfield and Oxford, both Butler County townships, rank in the top 100 townships in state for traffic crashes.
According to crash data provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), between 2010 and 2013, Fairfield Twp. had 1,533 crashes, including three fatal crashes and 402 injury crashes. In the same period, Oxford Twp. had 401 crashes, including two fatal and 92 injury crashes.
These striking numbers have left Butler County officials searching for solutions.
Both townships are seeking the help of a state grant, which will provide the area with new street signs in the hope of alleviating the number of traffic deaths seen by Butler County.
According to Sharon Smigielski, a public information officer for ODOT, the grant would fund the townships up to $50,000 each for new signs. The state provides $1 million for this program annually and has increased awareness of the program this year.
Earlier this month, township representatives attended a mandatory meeting in Columbus and Fairfield and Oxford townships are working out what kind of signage to request. The deadline to apply for the application is March
15. According to the ODOT website, the grant offers a wide array of signage, ranging from various arrow signs to stop signs to speed limit signs. The ODOT based the grant on crash data from 2009 to 2013. Every type of crash was considered, from property-damage-only crashes to fatal crashes.
Gary Salmon, president of Oxford's board of trustees, said he was considering caution signs and curve signs, among others.
"We can get some additional stop signs in places where we can put two stop signs on each side of the road versus a single one, stop ahead signs," he said. "The grant includes signposts, hardware and everything."