One dead in wrong-way crash on I-270; ODOT taking measures to keep drivers on right side of road


COLUMBUS (WCMH)– The northbound lanes of I-270 have reopened between I-70 and Roberts Road after to a fatal crash involving a suspected wrong-way driver.

The crash happened around 1:35am just south of the Roberts Road exit on I-270.

According to police, 24-year-old Shelby Grabor of Marysville was driving a 2008 Chevy Cobalt south in the northbound lanes of 270.

At the same time, 34-year-old Sagar Patel was driving his 2015 Tesla sedan north on I-270 in the northbound lanes. Investigators say Grabor struck Patel’s car head-on.

Grabor was pronounced dead at the scene. Patel was treated at the scene for his injuries.

This is the 17th traffic fatality in Columbus so far in 2016.

To help prevent crashes like these, the Ohio Department of Transportation has strategically placed signage at every freeway entrance ramp throughout the state.

In some areas, there are two or three sets of signs per ramp.

“One thing that we have discovered, when a driver is impaired, they’re typically going to be looking downward and not upward,” said ODOT communications director Matt Bruning. “So as a result of that research, we reacted by putting an additional set of  ‘wrong way’ and ‘do not enter’ signs at a lower level on the pole.”

Research is also being done right now on some new technology that would utilize the road sensors that are already in place on the freeways alerting drivers to slow downs currently. But transportation officials say more progress needs to be made.

“There’s a thought that maybe those sensors could be used to potentially detect a driver going the wrong way. Unfortunately as of right now, the technology just doesn’t seem to be there,” said Bruning.

ODOT also has triple signage at some on ramps, so that a driver will pass three sets of signs before getting on the freeway.

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