RICHMOND, Va. — A total of nine people, including a 4-year-old boy, died in vehicle crashes during the Fourth of July weekend, Virginia State Police report.
Crashes on Virginia highways accounted for seven deaths, police said. All told, nine deadly crashes were reported in Albemarle, Arlington, Augusta, Bedford, Carroll, James City, Lunenburg, Prince Edward and Russell counties.
It was the fatal crash in Prince Edward County that claimed the life of a 4-year-old boy. The Augusta County, Arlington County and Russell County crashes all involved motorcycles.
Police said the actions of thousands of drunk, speeding and reckless drivers put lives at risk during the holiday weekend. Troopers arrested 44 drunk drivers, cited 1,537 speeders and 732 reckless drivers, and issued 126 citations during the state's four-day Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.).
“Even though [Virginia] State Police did its part to enhance its response times and traffic safety enforcement efforts, too many motorists still put their lives and others at risk during the holiday weekend by failing to drive smart, safe or sober,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent.
Police also responded to 444 traffic crashes and assisted 1,153 disabled or stranded vehicles.
State officials are now asking residents to make driving safety a priority. They want drivers to use the road responsibly, comply with speed limits, buckle up and to never drive drunk or distracted in an effort to reduce deadly crashes.
Operation C.A.R.E. is a national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt.
For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” click here.