ALEA investigates traffic fatalities from Fourth of July weekend

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2022

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As the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) ‘101 Days of Summer Safety’ campaign continues, Troopers within ALEA’s Highway Patrol and Marine Patrol Divisions spent the extended Independence Day weekend patrolling Alabama roadways and waterways, while ALEA Pilots kept an eye on the state’s Gulf Coast beaches from the air.

ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said, “Forty days ago, our Agency launched the ‘101 Days of Summer Safety’ campaign, encompassing a variety of safety measures to ensure Alabama’s roadways, waterways and beaches are safe for Alabama citizens as well as visitors throughout the summer. Using various platforms and partnerships with local first responders, our Agency’s goal, as always, is to stress the importance of playing it safe while traveling, boating, and enjoying other summer activities.”

During this particular holiday period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 1, and ended at midnight Monday, July 4, Troopers within ALEA’s Highway Patrol Division investigated eight traffic fatalities, with crashes occurring in Calhoun, Escambia, Lawrence, Lowndes, and Tuscaloosa counties. A motorcyclist and a pedestrian were among those fatalities injured. Of the six deceased individuals who were traveling in vehicles, two were not using seat belts at the time of their crashes. ALEA Troopers also arrested 46 individuals for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

Troopers from ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division investigated a total of eight boating crashes, which occurred on Lay Lake, Wilson Lake, Lake Harding, Smith Lake, Lake Guntersville, and Lake Martin. The crashes resulted in two minor injuries and no fatalities. ALEA Troopers also arrested nine boaters for Boating Under the Influence (BUI) as part of their annual Operation Dry Water detail, a national safety campaign designed to detect and remove impaired boaters from waterways, as well as to educate the public on the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs, which ran concurrently with ALEA’s 101 Days of Summer Safety.

This past weekend, ALEA took safety measures a step further, with ALEA Pilots joining Gulf Shores and Orange Beach authorities to provide a rapid response water emergency team to enhance the safety for all citizens and visitors on Alabama’s beaches. During the extended holiday, ALEA Aviation performed 16 patrol flights, and Aviation/Rescue Swimmer crews identified multiple swimmers who were not within a safe distance of shore and relayed information to beach lifeguards. In addition, Aviation responded to three calls for service, including one to assist an individual on a paddleboard who drifted beyond a safe distance from shore.

Secretary Taylor said, “We are extremely grateful for the continued partnership between our Aviation Unit, and the first responders with both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Both agencies have displayed the highest levels of dedication and leadership, which has resulted in lives saved through the implementation of the rapid response water emergency rescue team. Our Pilots and our partners on the ground share one goal: to save lives along the state’s scenic beaches.”