OSP: Driver, 83, in wrong-way deadly crash not allowed to drive at night

An 83-year-old man driving the wrong way late Monday night when he was killed in a head-on crash wasn’t supposed to be on the road.

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Now, state troopers are trying to figure out where Vestle Ridenour of Morrow started going the wrong direction on the state Route 48 Bypass in Lebanon.

News Center 7’s John Bedell found out these types of crashes are on the rise in Ohio.

The Warren County Communications Center got a report of a wrong-way driver in a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck around 11:40 p.m. Monday in Lebanon. But just seven minutes later ...

“Before we could find them, the wrong-way driver was involved in a crash on state Route 48 right at (state Route 123),” Lt. Chuck O’Bryon said.

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Both drivers were cresting a hill when Ridenour and 19-year-old Seth Meintel of Lebanon collided.

Troopers don’t know from where Ridenour was coming, but said he was headed toward home.

Meintel is still in Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

Troopers said Ridenour was not impaired, but that he was not supposed to have been driving.

“He did have a drivers license restriction that he wasn’t allowed to drive at night,” O’Bryon said.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has preventive measures in place to alert wrong-way drivers on the stretch of the Ohio 48 bypass where the wreck happened.

“Between signs and reflectors there should still be enough clues out there that you’re going the wrong direction on the roadway,” Matt Bruning, ODOT spokesman, said.

However, none of it prevented Monday night’s deadly crash.

ODOT reported there were 27 wrong-way crashes across Ohio in 2018, and so far for 2019 there have been 28 wrong-way crashes resulting in 25 deaths, a trend ODOT officials call “concerning.”

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