BUCKLE UP: Memorial Day weekend crashes show dangers of driving during the holiday

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It has been a deadly weekend on East Texas roads this Memorial Day. The National Safety Council reports 380 people, on average, die during this holiday weekend. 

There have been 5 killed in car wrecks just this weekend, and many injured. 

Smith County:

29-year old, Joseph J. Jaggernauth, pronounced dead at the scene.

18-year old, Ashley Marie Frias, pronounced dead in the hospital. 

46-year old, Tracy Damon Anderson, in stable condition. 

22-year old, Jose T. Navarro-Ortiz, pronounced dead at the scene. 

Anderson County: 

22-year old, Alexandria Elizabeth Crawford, pronounced dead at the scene.

Polk County:

19-year old, Rebecca Medina, pronounced dead in the hospital.

55-year old, Joseph Johnson, in the hospital.

55-year old, Tammy Johnson, in the hospital. 

“After their leaving the lake or leaving a friends house or barbeque or a get to together for Memorial Day weekend, and it’s just one of those things where people make those bad choices,” says Josh Joplin, Smith County Constable for Precinct 4. 

Memorial Day weekend is considered one of the deadliest holidays for anyone behind the wheel. For three days, you are 4 times more likely to die in a wreck compared to any other weekend. 

Be Alert! 

Depending on where you live, you may need to take extra time on the road. With people traveling in and out of big cities, highways and interstates can lead to dangerous accidents. 

“You got a lot of people that are traveling for holiday’s, a lot of people that have families in the car. You got kids in the back that are making noise and you know. It’s one of those things where a parent has to really pay attention to what’s going on, on the road,” explains Constable Joplin. 

According to AAA, drivers experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday and Friday during the late afternoon. This is due to many people leaving work early to get on the road. 

Don’t Drink and Drive

Alcohol is a big factor, with many crashes happening because a driver is drunk. 

“They decide to drive intoxicated, and they take the lives of others or themselves and it’s a terrible thing that happens but at the same time we as law enforcement, we’re out working, we’re trying to put a stop to that,” says Constable Joplin. 

Law enforcement officers are encouraging anyone who decides to drink, to stay home, call an Uber, or have a sober driver take you home. 

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