There have been five fatal crashes in Mercer County since January. The most recent of which took place just steps away from the sheriff's office.
Because of those five crashes, nine people lost their lives. Sheriff Jeff Grey says so far 2012 has been a tragic year in Mercer County.
"It's extremely high for us. I believe last year we only had seven people killed (in traffic crashes) in Mercer County the entire year. We're up to nine people who have been killed already this year, and April is not over yet," said Sheriff Grey.
Three of the crashes took place on US 127. Six people died in crashes on that road in less than a month.
Troopers from the Wapakoneta State Highway Patrol Post which covers Mercer County say they are in contact with the Ohio Department of Transportation concerning the crashes. The post commander has suggested adding rumble strips down the road's center line-- similar to rumble strips recently added to US 33.
"That might help with the left of center crashes to at least warn people when they do drift over too far," said Lt. Scott Carrico.
The cause of four of the five fatal crashes have been attributed to driver inattention. However, a true reason-- such as drowsy driving or answering a text message-- is difficult to determine.
"We don't really know why. People just aren't paying attention, and then they drift," said Sheriff Grey.
The sheriff's department will team up with the highway patrol to maintain a presence in the areas of the county with the most crashes.
"Our job is to reduce that number. So, we're going to do everything we can to try to bring that down and prevent these crashes from happening," said Lt. Carrico.