Fatal crashes decline in West Virginia - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Fatal crashes decline in West Virginia

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SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WVVA) State Police say the number of fatal vehicle crashes in West Virginia dropped significantly in 2014.

According to Lt. Michael Baylous, there were 240 fatal crashes and 271 fatalities in 2014. The year before there were 305 fatal crashes and 332 fatalities. 

Baylous says in the past couple of years Troopers have taken a "targeted approach in regards to special patrols."  He says the Traffic Section of the WVSP  reviewed areas in the state that have high DUI and fatality rates and encouraged patrols in those areas. Troopers also conducted the patrols during peak travel times like holidays or when drivers are heading to and from work. 

“The horrors associated with a fatal crash scene do not end immediately following impact of a vehicle, nor does it end following the subsequent clean-up of the roadway. In fact, it just begins for many, including those in law enforcement. Law Enforcement Officers have the task of notifying family members of the deceased. Can you imagine having to inform someone that their loved one has been killed and won't be returning home? This is absolutely one of the most difficult tasks that Troopers perform,” says Lieutenant Michael Baylous.

Troopers caught 90 fugitives and arrested  542 people on felony charges during "special patrols" in 2014. ." Baylous says the WVSP relies heavily on grant money from the Governor's Highway Safety Program to do them. Patrols typically last between 2 and 6 hours. Grant programs include Distracted Driving Enforcement, DUI Enforcement, Seatbelt and Child Restraint Enforcement, and Work Zone Safety Enforcement. 

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