10 die on Virginia roadways Memorial Day weekend

Press release from Virginia State Police

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Ten individuals lost their lives in nine traffic crashes on Virginia's highways proving to be a deadly one for the 2011 Memorial Day weekend.

The preliminary numbers indicate of the 10 fatalities – three were motorcyclists and two were juveniles. The four-day statistical counting period began Friday morning, May 27, at 12:01 a.m. and continued through midnight, Monday, May 30. Last year, 11 people died statewide during the Memorial Day holiday.

Of the 10 killed in traffic crashes, two were young boys who died in separate crashes. Those fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Greensville and Spotsylvania. The Greensville County crash claimed the life of an 80-year-old male when the vehicle he was riding in ran off the road, struck a ditch and overturned. In Spotsylvania County, a six year-old male was killed in a crash that also claimed the life of a 62 year-old female passenger on Interstate 95, just south of Route 606. Neither child was buckled in.

Three of the fatal crashes involved motorcycles which occurred in the City of Virginia Beach and the counties of Culpeper and Prince William.  The Virginia Beach crash killed a 30 year-old man from Florida and a 28 year-old Virginia motorcyclist died following a crash on Route 663 in Culpeper. All three motorcyclists were wearing helmets.

The remaining four traffic fatalities involved passenger vehicles. Only one of the four individuals was wearing a seatbelt. The crashes occurred in the cities of Hampton and Suffolk and the counties of Loudoun and Isle of Wight.

"While Virginia's traffic fatality rate is showing a decline and is encouraging, the loss of life on Virginia's roads this holiday weekend is unsettling," says Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "We increase our enforcement efforts during the expected increased travel times on a holiday to protect the public, but we also need drivers and passengers to do their part and make safe, responsible choices when they get behind the wheel by buckling up, obeying the speed limit and driving sober."

With 75 percent of its uniformed workforce patrolling over the holiday weekend, Virginia State Police investigated a total 642 traffic crashes statewide and issued 10,415 summonses and arrests. There were 8,973 drivers stopped for speeding and 2,539 reckless drivers issued summonses. Across the Commonwealth, troopers also charged 132 individuals for drunk driving. A total of 941 adults were cited for failing to buckle up and 335 children were not properly restrained as required by state law.