RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police reported Wednesday that nine people, including a 4-year-old, died in crashes during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Police said that preliminary data from the holiday statistical counting period, which began July 2 and lasted until midnight on July 5, shows that nine individuals were involved in fatal crashes.
The crashes were reported in several counties: Albemarle, Arlington, Augusta, Bedford, Carroll, James City, Lunenburg, Prince Edward and Russell. The fatal crashes in Augusta, Arlington and Russell involved motorcycles and the child who died, a 4-year-old Charlotte County boy, was killed in Prince Edward County.
“Even though 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,” Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent, said in a statement.
During the four day period, authorities arrested 44 drunk drivers, cited 1,537 for speeding and 732 for reckless driving. Virginia troopers also issued 126 citations for those who failed to buckle up and responded to 444 total crashes.
“As we look towards the remainder of the summer travel season, I can’t stress enough the need for every driver and passenger, motorcyclist and bicyclist, pedestrian and commercial vehicle driver to make travel safety a priority. Sharing the road responsibly, complying with speed limits, buckling up and never driving impaired or distracted are what it takes to reduce crash-related injuries and deaths on Virginia’s highways,” Settle continued.