ALEA reports 4 traffic fatalities, 3 drownings over Memorial Day weekend
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says troopers investigated four traffic deaths and three drownings during this past Memorial Day weekend travel period, which lasted from 12:01 a.m. Friday through midnight Monday.
ALEA says three drivers and one motorcyclist were killed in traffic crashes in Dallas, Shelby, St. Clair and Tuscaloosa counties. Troopers say only one of the car victims was wearing a seat belt, and the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet.
“Notifying the next of kin following a fatal crash or drowning is a responsibility Troopers dread most, particularly during a fun-filled holiday weekend. We cannot stress enough the importance of simply buckling up and practicing good driving and boating behaviors,” ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said in a statement.
Troopers within ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division investigated three drownings, but reported no boating fatalities during the same holiday period.
ALEA took an extra step in patrols this year by partnering its aviation unit with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach fire departments to assist with a swimmer rescue detail throughout Memorial Day weekend, using aircraft to conduct beach safety flights and patrol areas where lifeguards were not available. ALEA reports the aviation unit responded to seven calls, and rescue swimmers were deployed from the aircraft a total of three times. During the three deployments, a total of 16 distressed swimmers were rescued.
“We are extremely grateful for the partnership with our local first responders who coordinated this specific detail, along with our Aviation Unit to prevent the loss of life on Alabama’s scenic beaches,” said Taylor. “The success of this rapid response detail is a true testament to the dedication of all first responders involved over the holiday weekend who worked diligently together for the common cause of saving lives in our great state.”
The agency also kicked off its 101 Days of Safety campaign during the holiday weekend. The new campaign uses an assortment of platforms and partnerships with local first responders to implement and convey a variety of safety initiatives, along with tips and messages to keep people safe throughout the summer. 101 Days of Safety runs through Sept. 5.
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