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Officials urge road safety after uptick in fatal crashes

Fatal car crash
Posted at 6:17 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 19:34:39-05

The time between Thanksgiving and the new year are some of the deadliest on Louisiana's roadways — this year is no different.

DOTD reports that Thanksgiving 2021 was the deadliest Louisiana has seen in seven years.

According to state police, last year between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, there were 65 crashes that resulted in 67 fatalities. So far this year during the holidays, there have been 59 crashes and 68 deaths across Louisiana. 15 of these deaths happened here in Acadiana.

With that in mind, officials with DOTD, state police, and the Acadiana Regional Transportation Safety Coalition have an urgent warning when it comes to staying safe on the roads.

State Trooper First Class Thomas Gossen said this issue should always be addressed — but even more so as the holiday season continues. According to Gossen, Troop I responded to nine crashes just this weekend in their jurisdiction, resulting in the deaths of 12 people. He notes so far this year, 925 people have been killed in crashes statewide.

"These are not just numbers to us," Gossen said. "This is someone's family, this is a brother, sister, son, daughter, husband, wife, and we need to do something."

That something is as simple as always wearing a seat belt and not driving distracted or under the influence.

"Be prepared if you become impaired to use an alternate way to get home," said Ron Czajowski, safety coordinator for the Acadiana Regional Transportation Safety Coalition. "Use Lyft, use Uber, a taxi, call a friend, call a family member — anything to put yourself in a position where you can make it to that Christmas morning or that New Year's celebration."

Officials say that if you see something dangerous, you are urged to get involved by calling either 911 or dialing *577.

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