OHP: Fatal Car Crashes Up More Than 25 Percent From 2015

Friday, May 6th 2016, 10:42 pm
By: News On 6

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol just released the road fatality number for March. Compared to the same time last year, fatal accidents are up by more than 25 percent.

One of the most recent examples happened just a few days ago - one person is dead, two other innocent people were hospitalized, and the suspect is now in jail.

Monday night, 22-year old Stacie Dry's life was cut short. Tulsa police say Christopher Mitchell ran into a motorcycle, sped through a red light and eventually hit Dry's car, killing her.

5/6/2016 Related Story: Tulsa Driver Who Left Fatal Crash Scene Arrested For Second-Degree Murder

"It's against the law to leave the scene of an accident, whether it's a property accident or personal injury or fatality accident. In that case it was a TPD wreck and it was alcohol involved," said Dwight Durant with OHP.

Durant said, in March, 53 people died on U.S. highways, city streets, and local interstates. Sadly, he said, most of them could have been avoided.

Last March, 38 people died.

"Most of these crashes are avoidable. First thing we need to do is not be texting and driving and not drinking and driving. And then, if most people would just slow down, speed is one of the major causes of crashes, and following too close," Durant said.

OHP said Oklahoma County leads the state with the most fatalities; Tulsa County is second.

Statistics show 41 percent of the victims killed in crashes weren't wearing a seatbelt.

Durant said it's important to realize the impact of not following the laws of the road extends further than just a crash.

"Just the other day this week I had to go up to Owasso and tell a mother her son was killed on 412. That man had two daughters and he had family, and it's heartbreaking to see the result of these crashes," said Durant.

He said, when you look at what could happen, getting somewhere faster isn't worth a life.

Mitchell, the suspect in Monday's crash, is facing one charge of leaving the scene of a crash causing death and second-degree murder. He will go before a judge next week.