RICHMOND (WAVY) – Over the Thanksgiving holiday this year, Virginia State Police say 10 people died in eight traffic crashes across Virginia, with speed playing a factor in at least half of those crashes.
According to police, from 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, through midnight on Sunday, Nov. 29, the crashes that claimed lives took place in Lynchburg, Newport News, Richmond, Frederick County, Pittsylvania County, Rockingham County, and Shenandoah County.
Preliminary data indicates speed played a factor in at least four of the fatal crashes, which led to the deaths of six people, including a teenager and a 6-year-old boy who were not wearing appropriate safety restraints, police said in a news release.
“Speed and lack of personal safety restraints continue to cost Virginians their lives,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As we continue through the holiday season, I am pleading with Virginians of all ages to respect and comply with all traffic safety laws. Virginia State Police and your loved ones want you to arrive at your destination safely.”
Virginia State Police said one of the crashes was alcohol related and one involved a pedestrian.
The 10 traffic fatalities reported this year marked an increase from the eight traffic fatalities during the same 5-day period in 2019.
In all, state troopers responded to 733 traffic crashes across the Commonwealth over the Thanksgiving weekend, which results in 117 injuries.
Virginia State Police participated in Operation C.A.R.E. — Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort — a state-sponsored, national program.
According to officials, these were the results of the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday C.A.R.E. initiative statewide:
- 4,930 speeders cited
- 1,706 reckless drivers cited
- 67 drivers charged for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- 498 drivers cited for failing to buckle up themselves and/or juvenile passengers
- 1,609 disabled/stranded motorists assisted
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