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Series of fatal accidents frustrates officers across valley

Reported by: Sergio Avila
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Updated: 1/18/2013 7:58 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- After a series of crashes to start the New Year, local police are wondering what it will take to get drivers to appreciate the potential danger on the road and drive more carefully.

There have been more than a dozen deadly car accidents in the valley this year. Most of them were easily preventable.

Just Wednesday, there were three separate fatal accidents in the valley. It was not only a devastating day for the families involved, but it has left officers wondering what else they can do to get drivers to change their habits.

On Wednesday, Tara Burrage, 45, died after her scooter collided with another car making a left turn at Carey Avenue and Sandy Lane.

A few hours later Nevada Highway Patrol troopers headed to the scene of an overturned concrete truck. Driver Richard Wood, 44, was killed.

After that, Metro once again called out to another fatal accident involving a motorcycle near Tropicana and Philmar. Joseph Anthony Deluca, 38, was killed.

This alarming number of deadly accidents has Metro Sgt. John Sheahan asking why drivers aren't getting it.

“What I would want to say to your viewers is, which one of you is next. Because one of you watching this right now is going to die next on our roadways,” he said. “If it's not you, it's going to be someone you love or someone you know. So what are you prepared to do to stop this.”

Across the valley, officers are convinced this is a community problem that won't change until they see change from you.

NHP Trooper Loy Hixson says they're seeing the same thing on our highways. They've had four fatal accidents this month, and the investigations continue to show a disturbing trend.

“Unfortunately they are coming back down to driver error,” he said. “Drivers being in too much of a hurry, drivers being distracted, drivers or passengers not wearing seat belts when in the vehicles.”

They are causes that Hixson admits leads to nothing but frustration from the men and women who are charged with protecting the public.

“When we get out there and we see this is something that could have been prevented; it was simply nothing more than a bad decision from the driver that now has cost someone their lives,” Hixson said. “So when we get to these, when we get to the investigation it's pure frustration, of course, asking ourselves why.”

The causes of Wednesday’s fatal accidents remain under investigation.
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