Thanksgiving weekend highway deaths in VA down from 2018 to 2019

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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) - Virginia State Police have released statistics of fatal crashes over Thanksgiving weekend 2019.

During the five-day period that began at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 27, and ended the night of Dec. 1, seven people were killed in as many crashes on Virginia highways. The crashes occurred in the City of Virginia Beach and the counties of Bedford, Henrico, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Rockbridge and Stafford. Six of the people killed were drivers, and alcohol was a factor in at least two of the fatal crashes. Three of the victims were not wearing seatbelts.

The number is down from 2018's holiday weekend, when 12 people were killed in highway crashes, and 2017's, when 14 people died.

Virginia State Police participated this year in Operation CARE, an acronym for the Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. Operation CARE is an annual, state-sponsored, national program during which state police increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts during the five-day statistical counting period.

The 2019 Thanksgiving Holiday CARE initiative resulted in troopers citing 5,221 speeders and 1,798 reckless drivers statewide. Virginia troopers charged 83 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and cited 490 drivers for failing to buckle up themselves and/or juvenile passengers.

State police responded to 1,312 traffic crashes across the Commonwealth, with 178 resulting in injuries.

“With only 27 days left in 2019, the Virginia State Police reminds all drivers to do their part to keep the winter holiday season as safe as possible on our highways,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Let’s end this decade by working together to save lives on our roadways, instead of putting them at risk by engaging in reckless driving behaviors. Make the right choice by always wearing a seatbelt, safely sharing the road with all vehicles and pedestrians, and by not driving intoxicated or ‘intexticated.’”

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