RICHMOND – The Christmas holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one on Virginia’s highways. During the four-day statistical counting period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, through midnight Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, preliminary reports indicate 10 people died in traffic crashes across the Commonwealth.
The 10 fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Buchanan, Culpeper, Fauquier, Louisa, Prince William and Wise; and the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk. Three of the deceased were pedestrians (Louisa County, Prince William County and the City of Suffolk). The fatal crash in the city of Chesapeake was a hit-and-run that is still under investigation by the Virginia State Police. Four of the drivers and passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts.
“Tragically, too many families spent their Christmas with family making arrangements for funeral services,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We cannot stress enough the importance for drivers to make smart, safe and sober decisions during the remaining days of 2016. Let us finish out this year by simply doing what’s right when it comes to driving on Virginia’s highways. Please drive to save lives.”
On Thursday (Dec. 22), within hours of the start of the statistical counting period, two 16-year-old females lost their lives in a Halifax County traffic crash and a 40-year-old male was killed in a Wythe County traffic crash. Then, 50 minutes after midnight Tuesday (Dec. 27), a 27-year-old man was killed in a Chesterfield County crash.
All drivers are reminded with the New Year’s holiday this weekend to make a commitment to driving sober, driving without distraction, driving buckled up, and driving the posted speed limit.
Virginia State Police troopers will have an increased presence on highways across the Commonwealth during the New Year’s holiday weekend to ensure the safety of all motorists. Please also be alert to those troopers, firefighters, medics, wrecker drivers and highway maintenance workers working alongside our highways and comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law.