Thanksgiving traffic deaths add to the year’s total

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With overall traffic fatalities already on the increase, the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one for 10 individuals traveling on Virginia’s highways, including two in Fairfax County.

In one of the Fairfax accidents, a 78-year-old woman died when her 1989 Honda Civic ran off the right side of I-66 and struck the Jersey wall just west of the Nutley Street exit around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to reenter the eastbound lanes of I-66 and collide with a 2006 Toyota Scion. The driver of the Civic, Susie E. Snyder, 78, of Arlington, died at the scene. She was wearing a seat belt. The crash remains under investigation.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, a 30-year-old Alexandria man, Christopher S. Padilla, was killed in an early-morning crash on I-495 just south of Exit 173/Van Dorn Ave., when his car rear-ended a tractor-trailer truck that had pulled onto the shoulder because of mechanical problems.

During the holiday statistical counting period, which began Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, at 12:01 a.m. and continued through midnight Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, traffic crashes claimed the lives of eight drivers, one passenger and a pedestrian. As of Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, there have been 737 reported traffic deaths in Virginia, compared to 664 this date last year.

“The increase in fatal crashes throughout this year is troubling and should be of serious concern to all Virginians,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Tragically, there will be at least 700 families heading into the holiday season mourning the loss of a loved one because of a traffic crash on a Virginia highway. Let’s make these remaining weeks of 2017 safer for everyone by buckling up and driving smart, safe, sober and distraction-free.”

The Thanksgiving fatal crashes occurred in the City of Richmond and the counties of Appomattox, Augusta, Bedford, Caroline, Fairfax and Spotsylvania. Two of the crashes, including the pedestrian crash, occurred in the City of Richmond, and two other fatal crashes occurred in Fairfax County. Two drivers lost their lives in a two-vehicle, head-on crash in Augusta County.

During the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, Virginia State Police troopers:

·         Cited 8,016 speeders

·         Cited 2,465 reckless drivers

·         Arrested 102 drunken drivers

·         Cited 589 safety belt violations & 205 child restraint violations

·         Investigated 998 traffic crashes, in which nine were fatal

·         Assisted 2,635 disabled motorists

 

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.