Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents.
Double digit drop in deadly Labor Day crashes
This Labor Day weekend was relatively safe compared to last year.
According to preliminary reports by the Virginia State Police, 10 fewer people died on Virginia roads during the final summer holiday of 2012, which ran Friday through Monday. Six people died in crashes this year, compared to 16 deaths on roads statewide in 2011.
The deadly crashes happened in five counties, including Stafford and Fauquier. One crash, in Rockingham, involved a pedestrian and another, in Hampton, was a motorcycle crash. The other four who died in car crashes weren’t wearing their seat belts. An apparent drunk driver was involved in at least one crash.
The Stafford crash happened at about 5 a.m. Saturday on Poplar Road, according to police. A 20-year-old Fredericksburg man died after the southbound Toyota Camry he was driving ran off the road in a curve and into a ditch before plowing through mailboxes and slamming into a utility pole. Philip Oliver was ejected from the car and died at the scene, according to state police.
The crash remains under investigation.
The Fauquier crash happened on U.S. 17 at about 3:50 p.m. on Friday. A Hyundai Accent ran off the right side of the highway near Interstate 66, hit a fence and a tree, which spun the car around into another tree. Todd W. Nichols, a 28-year-old from Bentonville, was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he later died. Police said he was not wearing a seat belt. The crash is still being investigated.
Troopers were out in force over the holiday weekend. They charged 112 with drunken driving, cited 8,187 with speeding and another 2,459 with reckless driving. The state police also responded to 715 crashes statewide.
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