Eleven people were killed in nine fatal traffic crashes in Virginia over the Labor Day weekend, including three in Prince William County, according to Virginia State Police.
Prince William was the only county in the state with two fatal accidents over the three-day holiday weekend. It was also one of only two counties in which two people were killed in a single crash, Corinne Geller, Virginia State Police spokeswoman, said in a news release.
Both fatal crashes in the county involved people riding on motorcycles. A total of five people were killed in three motorcycle crashes across the state, Geller said.
In Prince William, a crash early Saturday, Aug. 31, at the intersection of Heathcote Boulevard and Lee Highway in Gainesville killed both the driver and the passenger of a motorcycle that police said ran a red light and struck the back of an SUV.
A third person was killed on a motorcycle crash Sunday, Sept. 1, on Interstate 95. Speed was a factor in the latter crash, the state police said earlier Tuesday.
The 11 traffic fatalities brought the total number of people killed in traffic crashes in Virginia this year to 510. By this time last year, crashes had killed 520 people, Geller said.
In a statement, Col. Gary T. Settle, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, expressed frustration that “speed and alcohol were common factors in many of the holiday fatal crashes.”
“At what point have Virginians had enough of men, women, teens and children dying on our highways?,” Settle asked. “All we ask is for Virginians to make responsible driving practices and habits an everyday priority. Please make that commitment today, so we can save more lives than lose them in these final months of 2019.”
The nine fatal crashes occurred in Albemarle, Franklin, Goochland, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania and Wise counties, the release said.
Like Prince William County, Franklin County lost two motorists to the same incident involving a motorcycle, with both the operator and passenger being killed in the crash, the release said.
The state police participated in two annual traffic-safety enforcement programs over the Labor Day weekend.
As a result of enforcement efforts, state troopers wrote 7,279 tickets for speeding and 2,283 tickets for reckless driving, arrested 76 drivers for driving under the influence, cited 723 seat belt violations and assisted 2,148 stranded or disabled motorists, Geller said.