Nine people died throughout the state in traffic accidents over Memorial Day weekend. According to a news release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, this is the same as the amount of fatalities in 2009 over the holiday.
This total might change if any of the deaths are determined to have been medical incidents or if reports of fatal crashes are released at a later date. State Highway Patrolman Capt. J. Tim Hull said the general number of fatalities from traffic accidents is down 15 percent from this date last year.
"We'd like to see that number down to zero," Hull said.
The state highway patrol investigated 270 traffic accidents this past weekend and arrested 157 people for driving while intoxicated, according to the release. Injuries as a result of traffic crashes totaled 133.
In comparison, 2009’s Memorial Day weekend incurred 248 traffic accident investigations, 155 arrests for driving while intoxicated and 157 injuries.
The highway patrol participated in Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort and assigned troopers at 10-mile intervals along several interstates on Friday and Monday. The operation uses “every available officer on the road enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists,” according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol website.
Coupled with enforcement, the highway patrol has been using public education and public service announcements in hopes of reducing the number of traffic accidents, Hull said.