Number of fatal accidents during 2023 holiday season may surpass previous record

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Number of fatal accidents during 2023 holiday season may surpass previous record
Last year’s holiday season proved to be particularly rough on the roads, and the State Department of Transportation is estimating the number of traffic fatalities could set a new precedent.
The official numbers will not be released until later this year, but DOTD is citing crash reports from law enforcement as an early indicator of what those statistics could resemble. The 2021 holiday season set a five-year record with 42 deaths resulting from car accidents.
The upward trend is disturbing for Amber Pitre, who lost her daughter Kennedi Foret days before Christmas in 2021.
“Why are we moving backwards?” Pitre said.
Pitre said Foret was riding in the passenger seat when a driver ran a red light and T-boned her on Dec. 19, 2021. The 21-year-old Nicholls State student was airlifted to the hospital, but died Dec. 28.
The month prior, three Nicholls State students lost their lives when a drunk driver hit their vehicle head-on. That incident marked the fourth DWI offense for Joey Clement. He was sentenced to 84 years in prison for the girls’ deaths.
“Their parents will never get closure. You don’t get closure. We get a life sentence,” Pitre said.
In 2022, another tragedy unfolded as three Southern University Human Jukebox band members were heading home for Christmas. Tyran Williams, Dylan Young, and Broderick Moore were changing a tire on the side of the road when 63-year-old Clyde Gay struck and killed them.
New Years’ Day was also off to a devastating start with two deadly accidents.
A crash on I-12 resulted in one death and multiple injuries, along with a drunk driving arrest. Another accident claimed the life of Walker High School senior, Blakeleigh Weems.
DOTD would like to remind all drivers to think twice before engaging in risky behavior while driving. Factors such as impaired or distracted driving, lack of seatbelt use and speeding contribute to the majority of fatal crashes.

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