2019 Memorial Day weekend proves deadly for motorcyclists on state’s highways

RICHMOND – Preliminary reports indicate the 2019 Memorial Day weekend proved deadly for a total of 11 individuals, six of whom were riding on motorcycles. Nine fatal traffic crashes claimed 11 lives during the statistical counting period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday (May 24) and ended at midnight Monday (May 27). Virginia State Police statewide responded to 663 total traffic crashes during the 2019 holiday weekend.

The fatal crashes occurred in the city of Virginia Beach and the counties of Albemarle, Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Isle of Wight, and King and Queen. Albemarle County and King and Queen County each had two, separate, fatal crashes during the holiday weekend. The five fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in the city of Virginia Beach and in Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, and King and Queen counties. Both the operator and rider were killed in the single-vehicle motorcycle crash that occurred in Fairfax County on May 26, 2019.

“Tragically, Virginia has witnessed an alarming loss of life in recent days as a result of traffic crashes,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “There are not only entire families, but entire communities, mourning the deaths of those lost in a fatal traffic crash. More than 300 individuals have already been killed in traffic crashes this year in Virginia. That should give every driver in Virginia 300 reasons as to why it’s so important to drive to save lives on our highways. As we embark on the busy summer travel season, please drive smart, safe and sober.”

In an effort to help keep traffic moving safely and efficiently during the holiday weekend, the Virginia State Police partnered with law enforcement around the country for the Operation Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. During the Operation CARE Memorial Day statistical counting period, Virginia troopers cited 8,270 speeders and 2,548 reckless drivers. Seat belt violations totaled 961. Virginia troopers arrested 75 drunk drivers. State police also assisted 2,405 disabled motorists during the 2019 holiday weekend. Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to www.tzdva.org.

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