Eight killed in crashes over Memorial Day weekend

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 11:03 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia State Police say eight people were killed in crashes over the Memorial Day holiday. The preliminary data comes from the four-day period starting Friday, May 27 at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through Monday, May 30.

Troopers say of the eight killed, one person was riding a motorcycle and five were not wearing their seatbelts. The crashes happened in Richmond, Harrisonburg and the counties of Giles, Isle of Wight, Matthews and Stafford.

While the traffic volumes were close to what they were prior to the pandemic, the number of fatalities was lower than the same period in 2021 when crashes were responsible for 15 deaths.

“Virginians took to the roads in numbers we haven’t seen since 2019 and with that came the need for patience and focus on the road,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent in a press release. “And I am pleased to see the number of traffic crash fatalities drop by almost half from 2021, but remember, clicking your seatbelt is your first line of defense against someone else’s bad decision on the road. Virginia State Police urge all Virginia drivers to step up and make safe decisions.”

This year, the Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative fell within the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Between May 23 and May 30, troopers cited 4,894 speeders and 1,880 reckless drivers and arrested 90 impaired drivers. In addition, 660 individuals were cited for seat belt violations, 118 were cited for child safety restraint violations and 144 felony arrests were made. Virginia State Police also assisted 1,735 disabled motorists.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

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