Highway Patrol reflects on weekend crashes, arrests
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported Tuesday over the Fourth of July weekend there were four driver deaths and zero drownings or boating related fatalities across the state. None of the deaths happened in mid-Missouri counties.
In 2015 in contrast, 14 people died and 427 were injured in Missouri over the holiday in 953 total traffic crashes. This year, 149 were injured in traffic accidents out of 397 total crashes.
2016 July Fourth Holiday boating statistics were as follows:
Crashes ? 11
Injuries ? 6
Fatals ? 0
Drownings ? 0
BWI ? 11
Drug Arrests ? 15
According to the National Safety Council the Fourth of July is the deadliest holiday weekend of the year and not just for traffic and boating incidents.
State Trooper Marylyn Dickens said every holiday weekend drivers can expect more crashes, but this year she was pleased by the drop in fatal accidents.
Dickens works mainly along I-70, an interstate she said is one of the busiest highways in the country.
"Traffic crashes have gone down this year compared to last at least in fatalities and injuries. There have only been four fatals this counting period from Friday as of midnight tonight. Which is ten down from last year which is a great success I would say," Dickens said.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol speculates poor weather may have kept more drivers off the road this holiday weekend. Troopers said this might have been the cause for the decrease of deaths on the road over the three day period.
Another common cause of injury over the weekend is backyard firework displays. The majority of the accidents are hand injuries.
Sparklers, popular among firework users of all ages and legal in Columbia city limits are also dangerous. The sparklers can heat up to temperatures over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.