VSP releases report on fatal crashes during Thanksgiving holiday weekend

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Virginia State Police reports fewer people died in traffic crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend than in previous years. However, seven people were killed, including two teenagers.

According to a release, during the five-day tracking period between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, fatal crashes occurred in the city of Virginia Beach and the counties of Bedford, Henrico, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Rockbridge and Stafford.

Police say six of the people who died were drivers and alcohol was considered a factor in at least two of the crashes. Three of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

The two teens, a 19-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man, were killed in Bedford County and Stafford County respectively.

"With only 27 days left in 2019, the Virginia State Police reminds all drivers to do their part to keep the winter holiday season as safe as possible on our highways," said VSP Superintendent Colonel Gary T. Settle. "Let's end this decade by working together to save lives on our roadways, instead of putting them at risk by engaging in reckless driving behaviors. Make the right choice by always wearing a seatbelt, safely sharing the road with all vehicles and pedestrians, and by not driving intoxicated or 'intexticated.'"

The Virginia Highway Safety Office says 12 people were killed during the holiday statistical counting period in 2018, while 14 died during the same time frame in 2017.

VSP troopers were also participating in the Operation Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort, or CARE, which aims to prevent traffic deaths and injuries.

As part of this, troopers cited 5,221 speeders, 1,798 reckless drivers and 490 for failing to buckle up or properly restrain a child in a safety seat, as well as charging 83 people for DUI.

In total, troopers responded to 1,312 crashes across Virginia, of which 178 resulted in injuries and seven in fatalities.

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