Southern Parishes see spike in traffic-related deaths

FOX 8 photo
FOX 8 photo

State police say they've noticed an alarming jump in the number of traffic fatalities lately, and with July 4th this weekend, it's even more of a concern for troopers.

"The most alarming thing is the number of teens and young children who are involved in these crashes," said Capt. Darrin Naquin with Louisiana State Police Troop C.

Eighteen different agencies gathered at a press conference Wednesday. Troop C covers Lafourche, Terrebonne, Assumption and parts of St. John and St. James Parish. State Police say in the last month alone, Troop C district has seen six traffic-related fatalities and dozens more injuries. All of the accidents involved alcohol or drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts.

"It's unacceptable, we've got to be better drivers," said Sheriff Michael Waguespack with the Assumption Sheriff's Department. "We have to use better judgement."

State troopers, district attorneys, and local law enforcement have agreed that starting now, they will be putting extra effort into cracking down on those breaking the law.

"I know collectively, as a force-multiplier, we can have a dramatic impact," said Sheriff Craig Webre of Lafourche Parish.

Webre and others say to expect more officers on the road and more random checkpoints to catch DWI drivers and those who aren't strapped in.

"It begins tonight with a multi-agency checkpoint in Terrebonne Parish," said Naquin. "I know several other agencies will be doing checkpoints this weekend." Naquin says with summer in full swing and July 4th days away, the road can be more dangerous.

"You have more traffic, more families traveling the roadways, and instances where crashes can occur," said Naquin.

Law Enforcement says they'll also be learning on parents in this effort to curb traffic-fatality numbers.

"We know they're going to have fun. They're going to make mistakes," said Waguespack about keeping an eye on teens. "We have to do a better job policing their activities."

Law enforcement agree that everyone plays a role in keeping the casualties down.

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