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Victims' Advocates Call for Tough Penalties for Wrong-Way Driving

COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia/Ken Hines) -- Columbus police are investigating two wrong-way crashes that killed two people over a recent 48 hour period.

Gahanna resident Vincent Canzini, 61, was killed early Saturday morning when his Jeep was struck by a pickup truck driven by Matthew Cordle, who was driving east on I-670 WB. Police believe Cordle, 23, was drinking before the crash.

A wrong-way driver is also believed to be responsible for a crash that killed a woman on SR-161 near Little Turtle on Monday morning.

Canzini's loved ones believe penalties against wrong-way drivers should be stiffened -- especially when they result in crashes.

"They shouldn't just get a slap on the hand when [they] take a life," said Canzini's friend Linda Thompson.

Ohio State Senator Jim Hughes agrees with Thompson, and has proposed a bill that would call for felony charges for wrong-way drivers who injure other motorists.

According to The Ohio State Highway Patrol, more than 60 wrong-way crashes occurred in the state between January, 2011 and April, 2013. Those crashes resulted in 31 fatalities; 81 percent occurred during night time hours.
 
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