30 fatality crashes and 46 deaths since January, Amarillo officials urge caution for Memorial Day weekend

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 7:46 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Memorial Day is the unofficial kick off to Summer and with it means more travelers out on the roads.

Over the weekend, multiple agencies throughout the Texas Panhandle will have extra patrols enforcing the law and ensuring safety.

Busier roadways create more opportunities for fatal accidents and Amarillo has already seen an increase in fatalities this year.

Since January of 2022, DPS Troopers have responded to 30 fatality crashes in the Amarillo District, resulting in 46 deaths and 15 of those crashes involved unrestrained occupants, resulting in 19 deaths.

“That’s a little frustrating, when you know seat belts save lives. People have excuses for not wearing them, but there’s really no good excuse for not wearing a seat belt it’s not worth your life,” said Sgt. Cindy Barkley, Texas Department of Public Safety.

Law enforcement will also be looking for drunk drivers, there were almost 500 DWI arrests made last Memorial Day weekend.

“There is absolutely zero reasons for people to be drinking and driving and its inexcusable at this point in our lives, in 2022, people who are still getting in the cars and drinking and driving are doing that because they are irresponsible,” said Sgt. Carla Burr, PIO, Amarillo Police Department.

It has been over 20 years since there’s been one day in Texas somebody hasn’t died on a Texas Highway.

“That’s sad that we can’t even go a day. It’d be nice if it was Memorial Day, the whole purpose of the holiday is to remember those that have fallen, that gave their lives to give us the freedoms that we have, to do the things that we get to do and we want to celebrate that,” said Sgt. Burr.

Law enforcement also urges you to eliminate any distractions while driving.

“There is not one place in Amarillo that you can’t get to in 20 minutes and if you can’t go 20 minutes without touching your phone, then think about it, think about that, you’re not even able to put your phone down for 20 minutes,” said Sgt. Burr.

They also urge you to slow down, even if you are running late.

“It’s better than the alternative, that you don’t make it at all, that somebody got hurt or somebody got killed or whatever, so slow down, make a plan for a sober ride, put the phones away, put your seat belt on, strap the kids in and let’s have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend, that’s what we all want, we all want that,” said Sgt. Burr.

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