RICHMOND (WAVY) – 14 families are grieving the loss of a loved one, killed in crashes on Virginia highways over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Virginia State Police released preliminary data Tuesday, emphasizing that eight of the people who died in vehicles were not wearing a seatbelt.

“Not sure how many times we can say this until folks start paying attention, but ‘Seatbelts save lives,’” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent.

The fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Brunswick, Campbell, Chesterfield, Floyd, Greensville, Henrico, Loudoun, Powhatan, Prince William, Rockingham and Spotsylvania and the cities of Richmond, Roanoke and Virginia Beach.

The crash in Virginia Beach happened on Thanksgiving day on Indian River Road and involved one vehicle, police confirmed.  The driver and only occupant, 27-year-old Trever Brown of Chesapeake, died at the scene. 

Three pedestrians and a motorcyclist were among the 14 people who lost their lives on Virginia highways during the five-day period, Nov. 23, 2022 through Nov. 27, 2022.

This is an increase over last Thanksgiving, when there were five traffic fatalities during the same five-day holiday period.

Virginia State Police participated in Operation C.A.R.E. over the holiday. The increased traffic enforcement efforts resulted in troopers citing 4,413 speeders and 1,803 reckless drivers statewide. Virginia troopers also arrested 93 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.