As Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) employees are preparing for the next round of winter weather, one 17-year veteran of the department is receiving praise for recently going above and beyond his job duties to protect the state's motoring public.
Last Saturday, at about 2:30 a.m., ODOT Highway Technician George Seambos was on snow and ice patrols along U.S. R23 in Sylvania near the Michigan border. While driving, he noticed the headlights of a wrong-way driver coming right at him.
Seambos went into immediate action, put on his flashers to warn oncoming traffic, and maneuvered his snow plow truck in a way that caused a suspected drunk driver to turn around. Seambos immediately called 911 and followed the vehicle until police were on the scene.
The driver was later charged with OVI.
"Every day, ODOT employees do amazing things but what George did for everyone on the road that night is beyond amazing," ODOT Director Jerry Wray said. "We will never know if his actions avoided a tragedy on Ohio's roads that night. But what we do know is George had the courage to do something you don't see outlined in any policy manual. He used his gut instincts and quite possibly saved human lives as a result."
In the United States, wrong-way crashes kill hundreds of people each a year on high-speed highways. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a majority of wrong way crashes involve drivers with blood-alcohol levels more than twice the legal limit.