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Officials look at safety of ponds at scene of fatal accident

Officials again are looking at the safety of a Dublin highway interchange.

Police continue to investigate yesterday's accident in Dublin that resulted in the death of a Columbus man. 47-year old Douglas Schaefer died after his car went off Dublin Road and went into a pond at the route 33 interchange.

4 years ago, as the intersection was being built, state transportation officials questioned the safety of the decorative ponds placed so close to the highway.

In 2000, when it replaced and expanded the Avery Road/ Route 33 intersection the city of dublin did not want a plain highway ramp system.

So designers came up with a plan that would have drivers circle reflecting ponds with fountains as they the drivers went around the ramps.

Ohio department of Transportation officials balked at the plan but went along with it but required Dublin to build stone walls around the pond.

But Thursday night, Douglas Schafefer's red convertible went off Avery road and into the water; the walls did not stop him from going into the pond.

City of Dublin director of engineering Paul Hammersmith oversees roadway planning for the city. He says the intersection is safe, but they will wait for the results of the accident investigation.

Police suspect that Schaefer may have blacked out or become incapacitated before he crashed. Hammersmith says there is room to recovery at the intersection.