PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Over the 2019 Memorial Day weekend, Virginia State Police responded to 663 traffic crashes, including nine fatal crashes that killed a total of 11 people. Six of those who died were riding motorcycles.
The traffic crashes were recorded from 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 24, to midnight of Monday, May 27.
The fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Isle of Wight, and King and Queen and the city of Virginia Beach.
A Hampton man, 54-year-old Luis Martinez, was killed in the fatal motorcycle crash on Friday that occurred in Arlington, near the Pentagon. Martinez was operating the motorcycle at 7:46 p.m. when a van changed lanes, causing the two vehicles to collide. Following the collision, Martinez was transported to a local hospital, where he later died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Another motorcyclist, 28-year-old Gary Lee Clark, was killed on Friday night in the fatal crash that occurred in Virginia Beach on Indian River Road. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Police say the motorcycle was traveling southbound on Indian River Road and a sedan was traveling northbound, when Clark lost control and traveled into the sedans’ lane.
“Tragically, Virginia has witnessed an alarming loss of life in recent days as a result of traffic crashes,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police’s Superintendent, in a news release. “There are not only entire families, but entire communities, mourning the deaths of those lost in a fatal traffic crash. More than 300 individuals have already been killed in traffic crashes this year in Virginia. That should give every driver in Virginia 300 reasons as to why it’s so important to drive to save lives on our highways. As we embark on the busy summer travel season, please drive smart, safe and sober.”