Troopers: Crashes, injuries, fatalities up this year

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — More than 640 people have died so far this year on Alabama roads and troopers have worked almost 31,000 crashes. According to Alabama State Trooper Chuck Daniel, the numbers across the board are higher than they’ve been in five years.

“I’ve seen so much tragedy because of speed,” he said. “So many brain injuries, so many spinal injuries, so many loss of the use of a limb either through amputation or they’re disabled because of this crash. And it could have been prevented.”

Last week a crash in Tuscaloosa County claimed the life of a 12-year-old girl. Days later, a tow truck driver died in a wreck on Interstate 20/59 in Tuscaloosa, and last night a teen died in a crash in Shelby County.

Trooper Daniel said working crashes like these is very personal for State Troopers.

“I personally have wept with families…Our job is to make death notifications. So think, we’ve done that we’ve done that 647 times this year. That’s a lot. That weighs on a man,” he said.

That’s why they patrol the highways.

“That driver will drive different if he sees us or if he sees other law enforcement on the highway,” he said.

And he keeps sharing his message: Slow down, wear a seatbelt, follow at a safe distance, and don’t be distracted. It just might save your life this holiday season.

“Getting there and getting back is vital because you don’t plan to not make it … We really want people to take it seriously,” said Daniel.

Thanks to grant funding, the troopers will continue to have an increased presence on the roadways across Alabama until the new year.

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