Preliminary statistics for the Memorial Day holiday weekend indicates fewer traffic deaths and more DUII arrests by Oregon State Police troopers, in comparison to last year's holiday weekend totals.
This year's 78-hour reporting period began at 6:00 p.m., Friday, May 23, and concluded Monday, May 26, at 11:59 p.m.
According to ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting Systems, there have been two reported fatalities (both pedestrian-involved) in two separate traffic crashes by Oregon law enforcement agencies.
If the preliminary number holds true, this will be the fourth time since 1970 when Oregon reports twp fatalities for this major holiday period which has not had fewer than two reported deaths. Since 1970, an average of six traffic fatalities is reported each Memorial Day holiday period, and last year seven people died in six separate fatal traffic crashes.
The following is a brief review of Oregon's confirmed fatal crashes during this year's holiday period:
* On Friday night, May 23, a 35-year old male was fatally struck by a car on Highway 217 in Beaverton after he reportedly tried jumping in front of traffic several times. Beaverton Police Department is the lead investigating agency.
* On Saturday, May 24, at approximately 12 noon, an 80-year old man was struck and killed after being hit by a pickup while trying to cross River Road in Eugene. The victim was not using a crosswalk. Eugene Police Department is the lead investigating agency.
Preliminary DUII arrest statistics for OSP troopers during the holiday period indicates 59 drivers were arrested. Last year, troopers reported 48 DUII arrests. OSP offices reporting three or more DUII arrests were:
* Portland Area Command office - 10 DUII arrests
* Albany Area Command office - 6 DUII arrests
* Grants Pass Work Site office - 5 DUII arrests
* Ontario Area Command office - 5 DUII arrests
* Bend Area Command office - 4 DUII arrests
* Klamath Falls Area Command office - 4 DUII arrests
* Central Point Area Command office - 3 DUII arrests
* Springfield Area Command office - 3 DUII arrests
* Salem Area Command office - 3 DUII arrests
Bend police reported a dozen DUII arrests over the holiday weekend.
Side notes related to the statewide DUII arrests:
* Eleven drivers facing DUII and other charges are related to their involvement in traffic crashes, five of which were injury crashes.
* Ten of the drivers arrested this year involved driving under the influence of drugs.
* Citizen driving complaints were directly tied to helping troopers find and arrest 11 DUII drivers.
In addition to the enhanced enforcement efforts and response to traffic crashes and other incidents, OSP troopers intervened into attempted suicides by four people. Three of the four people were reported as suicidal and located by troopers. The fourth person was found inside her parked car. All four persons were transported to hospitals for medical and mental health treatment, and each is expected to survive.
Suicide is preventable and help is available in your local community. OSP urges anyone with suicidal thoughts or who is otherwise in an immediate mental health crisis to please contact a local crisis center hotline or a professional mental health professional.
OSP reminds drivers that state, county and local police agencies are continuing increased enforcement efforts as part of the "Click It or Ticket" campaign through June 1.
Law enforcement officers are stepping up efforts to encourage vehicle occupants to use safety belts and child safety seats correctly, keep impaired drivers off the road, and deter distracted and other dangerous driving.
OSP, Oregon State Sheriffs' Association, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, and ODOT remind every traveling person - bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and motorists alike - that we all have individual responsibility for keeping our roads safe. Immediately report aggressive, dangerous and intoxicated drivers to 9-1-1 or call OSP at 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865).