STAUNTON, Va. -- According to Virginia State Police, one dozen people died in 2012 on roads in the Augusta County area, including the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, and nearly 800 people died statewide. More pedestrians than usual were killed in Waynesboro traffic crashes and more people died last year than in 2011.
Raven Beverage, a Wright's Dairy Rite employee, worked behind the counter with Acoye Breckenridge until he died in a tractor-trailer accident in October in Frederick County.
“It was really sad, and it was really hard on everybody here because everybody knew him really well and everybody liked him,” said Beverage.
Sgt. Michael Rossetti with Virginia State Police said crashes like that are tough for investigators.
“It's just very sad regarding a fatal accident,” said Sgt. Rossetti, “Obviously, we do our very best in investigating them. Unfortunately, it's part of our job."
Beverage described what it was like to hear the news of Breckenridge's death.
“It was a really, really big shock because you never think something like that's going to happen to someone you go to school with, you work with and you're close with,” said Beverage.
Wright's Dairy Rite employees used a message board just outside their store to honor Breckenridge days after his death, and to help remember his legacy.
Friends said Breckenridge left a legacy of being a nice, smart and kind young man. His legacy has also influenced people to stay safe on Virginia's roads.
“Everybody, like everybody he went to school with and everything were really affected by it. I do think it made people more aware when they're driving and stuff like that.”
VSP has several tips for you to stay safe on the roads. They're asking drivers to avoid road rage, use a seat belt and to avoid distractions.