Increase in Fatal Crashes in 2013

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY -- On Monday, Sgt C.J. Aikens with Virginia State Police showed up at a car accident on Interstate 64 that left a 26-year-old woman dead. It's one of five deadly crashes in less than three weeks in Augusta County.

“There's no rhyme or reason to the uptick in fatalities,” said Sgt. Aikens.

The Virginia DMV reported 14 deadly crashes in 2012 in Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro. There has already been nearly one-third of that number of deaths in just one month of 2013. One fatal crash happened near Grottoes and another occurred near Greenville.

“When you're driving down the road, you not only have your life in your hands, you have my life and everyone else's life in your hand as well on the highways. If you're not paying attention, that just adds to the distractions while driving.”

Sgt. Aikens said working fatal crashes has had a personal impact on him.

“Besides working the wreck, we also have to notify the family of the death, which is probably the worst part of job, having to go knock on somebody's door at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and advise them that their loved one is dead and was killed in a crash...It kind of brings a different dynamic to it. It puts a lot more pressure on the trooper that has to provide that news to them.”

Sgt. Aikens hopes people will stay safe on the county's roads, since a death can affect more people than one family.

“They're affected. Their family's affected. It reaches beyond a family who lost someone they loved. It reaches to the whole community.”

Waynesboro Police reported no deaths this year and Staunton police reported one.

VSP wants people to stay focused while driving and not drink or use drugs before driving.

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