Instances of fatal crashes rise going into summer

Remains of the fatal crash killing one and injuring a couple and their child.(Courtesy Image)

A fatal car crash on Highway 199 at milepost 21 near Selma closed part of the roadway down for hours Saturday night, June 1st.

Redwood Highway has been the site of multiple accidents in the past, partially due to the two-lane roadway's many twists and turns. Earlier this year, two Grants Pass teenagers died after the driver lost control of the car just two miles away from where this weekend's crash occurred.

Since 2016, eight people have died on this highway, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. The Oregon State Police say that 55 crashes have occurred on Highway 199 between Crescent City, CA to Grants Pass so far in 2019.

In the summer, increased traffic from tourism brings out drivers in new places, while young drivers out of school are also more prevalent on the road. Gary Leaming, with ODOT, says it's a dangerous time.

"Right now, we're in summer vacation and that's known as the hundred deadliest days of summer," Leaming said.

He is referring to data compiled by law enforcement throughout the United States. According to their data, the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day has more fatal crashes than any other time of the year, especially among teen drivers.

Leaming also stated how important it is for drivers to get enough rest and are sober before they get on the road.

"Don't drink and drive, make sure you're well rested and then of course what we see on 199 is, in particular, is that we see speeds way over the speed limit, so that combination entails more crashes and more fatalities, unfortunately," Leaming said.

For the accident which happened over the weekend, it is not known at this time if speeding was a factor.

Toxicology tests are underway, according to the OSP.


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