Fatal crashes on the rise in Yuma

YUMA, Ariz. – More than 770 victims died from car crashes last year across Arizona, a drop of almost 9 percent from 2013. The Arizona Department of Transportation reports pedestrian and bicyclist deaths were down slightly also. ADOT spokesperson Doug Nintzel says there’s still room for improvement.

“This really is the chance to realize more than 750 people died on our roads last year, and that’s a wakeup call to change the behavior. Be a life saver rather than a potential killer out there,” Nintzel said.

Despite the state’s overall downward trend, Yuma County actually saw an increase in the number of deaths from car accidents. Overall, 33 people died on local roads and highways out of roughly 25-00 reported crashes. 14 of the fatalities were alcohol related. Across the state, Thanksgiving was the deadliest holiday weekend. The most common issued citation was driving too fast for conditions.

“What we’re really asking drivers to do is be very careful. Our emphasis areas are what you would expect, speeding and aggressive driving, impaired driving, occupant protection. That includes buckling up. Motorcycle safety is very important and also distracted driving. That’s becoming more and more important not just here in Arizona but across the country,” Nintzel explained.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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