Less than a week after a deadly crash on I-75 caused by a wrong-way driver killed three college women and hurt two others, another motorist was arrested Wednesday night for driving the wrong way on I-475.
Lydia M. Jablonski, 37, of Springfield Township was arrested by an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper in Maumee after authorities said she caused two minor crashes. One involved a parked car at the establishment she was coming from and the other was a "sideswipe" when she was driving in the wrong lanes on I-475. There were no injuries.
"She was northbound in the southbound lanes, in the outside lane, and there was another car in the southbound lane," Maumee Police Sgt. Timothy Stratton said. "They struck mirrors, so that was very minor."
She was charged with a "divided highway" violation, but authorities said other charges are possible. Sergeant Stratton said Jablonski refused to take a breath test for alcohol.
OHIO HIGHWAY PATROL AUDIO:
- 911 call No. 1
- City of Perrysburg to Ohio Highway Patrol
- Toledo police to Ohio Highway Patrol
- Ohio Highway Patrol to Perrysburg dispatch
- 911 call No. 2
At about 10:40 p.m., the Bowling Green dispatch center for the patrol received a call of a wrong-way driver in the southbound lanes of I-475 near State Rt. 25 in Wood County.
A trooper drove onto I-475 southbound from the Salisbury Road ramp and spotted Jablonski's vehicle northbound in the southbound lanes. She then entered the median and drove over into the northbound lanes, continued on northbound I-475, and exited the highway onto Salisbury. The trooper pursued the vehicle and pulled her over.
She was released Wednesday night into the custody of her parents, said Lt. William N. Bowers, commander of the Toledo post of the Ohio Highway Patrol. She was scheduled for arraignment Friday in Maumee Municipal Court, but her attorney moved it to March 16.
Neither Jablonski nor her attorney, Peter Boyer, could be reached for comment Thursday.
"There are a couple reasons this has come into the forefront -- obviously the Bowling Green incident," Lieutenant Bowers said. "It really hits home to this area because we have had several major, tragic accidents."
Last week, a wrong-way driver caused a crash on I-75 north of Bowling Green near State Rt. 582 that killed three college women and herself.
Winifred "Dawn" Lein, 69, of Perrysburg Township died in that crash in the early morning of March 2, which also killed Christina Goyett, 19, of Bay City, Mich.; Sarah Hammond, 21, of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and Rebekah Blakkolb, 20, of Aurora, Ohio. Two other passengers -- Kayla Somoles, 19, of Parma, Ohio, and Angelica Mormile, 19, of Garfield Heights, Ohio -- remain in critical condition in Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.
Lieutenant Bowers said not all reported wrong-way drivers are caught.
"I have been out several times and we have not been able to locate these drivers. Maybe they figure out they are on the wrong side or they get off [the highway] before we get there."
A debate over spike strips to prevent vehicles from getting on highways in the wrong direction ensued after the March 2 crash.
Lieutenant Bowers said that is problematic because spike strips would stop emergency vehicles that sometimes need to enter the highway the wrong way to get to accidents.
The patrol report states Jablonski told the arresting officer she had been at a Levis Commons eatery.
Contact Ignazio Messina at: email@example.com or 419-724-6171.