(SD)-Rash Of Traffic Deaths Leads SD Officials To Urge Caution
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A string of 8 traffic deaths in 6 crashes over a 4-day period last week has South Dakota Dept of Public Safety officials once again urging people to be careful on the state's roads.
The crashes occurred in all parts of South Dakota between Saturday the 15th and Tuesday the 18th, including the 4-wheeler rollover west of Edgemont on the 18th that claimed the life of 64-year old David Johnson of Edgemont.
State Office of Highway Safety director Lee Axdahl says there have been at least 10 traffic fatalities so far this month, double the number for all of September last year
Axdahl says the fatal crashes have ranged from single-vehicle rollovers to multiple-vehicle crashes, some the result of speed or alcohol, with a number of the victims not wearing seatbelts.
Even with the deadly early September, the state remains on pace to finish the year with fewer than 100 roadway fatalities for the first time ever but Axdahl says losing even one life is a tragedy - especially since almost all of them are preventable if all motorists understand the need to drive safely.
South Dakota Highway Patrol commander Colonel Rick Miller agrees, saying "most of the crashes we hear about could have had a different outcome." Colonel Miller says that's why it is so important to develop good driving habits ahead of time such as slow down, don't drive impaired or distracted, and always buckle up.
The Highway Patrol and Office of Highway Safety are both part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
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