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AL outpacing 2014 traffic fatalities after week with 16 deaths

Published: Oct. 19, 2015 at 5:41 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 18, 2015 at 6:41 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A particularly deadly, week-long stretch in October now has Alabama's 2015 traffic fatality statistics outpacing the rate for the same time through the previous year. Alabama State Troopers confirmed 16 deaths between Oct 12 and 18 to bring the state figures to 413 deaths. By contrast, law enforcement had investigated only 398 fatalities by the same point in 2014, a difference of 15.

(Editor's Note: This story was updated following information on the Oct. 18 delayed death of a Bank's man who was injured three days earlier.)

State Troopers recapped the deadly week in a statement released to the media Monday. Of the 16 fatalities, seat belts were available in 13 cases (The other three cases involved bikes or motorcycles). Of the cases where seat belts were available, it's known for certain that they were not in use for at least eight victims. Investigators have not released seat belt info on the other five cases.

Each of the crashes remain under investigation. They include:

A two-vehicle crash on Oct. 12, claimed the life of a Winfield woman, Lisa Kay Raburn Chaffin, 53. She was killed when the 2007 Ford F-250 she was driving collided with a 2012 Toyota Corolla driven by Allison Leigh Snider of Fayette. Chaffin was pronounced dead at the scene. Snider was not injured. The crash occurred at 1:37 p.m. on Interstate 22 at the 53 mile marker, five miles west of Jasper.

A single-vehicle crash at 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 12, claimed the life of Birmingham resident Pamela Ann Rodgers, 58. She was killed when the 2004 Ford Explorer in which she was a passenger left the roadway, struck a ditch and overturned. Rodgers, who was not using a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Interstate 65 at the 202 mile marker,  three miles south of Clanton.

A single-vehicle crash at 4:53 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, claimed the life of a Whistler woman, Michelle Ann Odom, 48. She was not using a seat belt at the time of the crash, and died several days later on Oct. 14, at the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile.  The 1999 Ford Windstar van she was driving left the roadway, struck a utility pole and overturned. The crash occurred on U.S. 45 near the 15 mile marker, seven miles north of Prichard.

A single-vehicle crash at 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 14, claimed the life of a Salem man, Adam Scott Johnson, 36. He killed when the bicycle he was operating was struck by a 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Chevrolet was not injured and remained at the scene. The crash occurred on Lee County 240 six miles west of Smiths Station.

A single-vehicle crash at 5:25 p.m. on Oct. 15, claimed the life of a Muscle Shoals man, James Robert Maddox, 66. He was killed when the 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle he was operating left the roadway in a curve and struck a ditch. Maddox was thrown from the motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred on LaGrange Road, seven miles south of Muscle Shoals.

A two-vehicle crash on Oct. 15, at 1:20 p.m. claimed the life of a Banks man. Justin Corey Calhoun, 25, was injured when the Polaris Razor he was driving collided with a 2009 Chevrolet Impala. The crash occurred on Pike County 6636, five miles north of Banks. Calhoun succumbed to his injuries on Oct. 18.

A single-vehicle crash at 2:19 a.m. on Oct. 16, claimed the life of a Daphne man, Scott Daniel Myrick, 42. He was killed when the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado he was driving left the roadway and overturned. Myrick, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred on U.S. 31 near the 12 mile marker, one mile north of Stapleton.

A single-vehicle crash at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 16, claimed the life of an Evergreen man, Gary Eugene Bowens, 52. He was killed when the 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe he was driving left the roadway, struck several trees and overturned. Bowens, who was not wearing a seat belt, was partially ejected. The crash occurred on Conecuh County 85, four miles east of Evergreen.

A single-vehicle crash at 11:40 a.m. on Oct. 16, claimed the life of a Hanceville man, Justin Dewayne Cole, 24. He was killed when the 2012 Volkswagen Passat he was driving left the roadway and overturned. Cole, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Alabama 91 four miles south of Hanceville.

A single-vehicle crash on Oct. 17, claimed the life of a Millbrook man, Jamie Lee Harper, 42. He was killed when the 2007 Ford F-250 he was driving left the roadway and struck a ditch. Harper, who was not using a seat belt, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. Preliminary investigation revealed alcohol may be a contributing factor. The crash occurred at 5:20 a.m. on Weoka Road four miles north of Wallsboro.

A single-vehicle crash at 6:20 p.m. on Oct. 16, claimed the life of Talladega resident Bryon Covett Hammonds, 39. He was killed when the 2007 Suzuki motorcycle he was operating struck a deer and caused his motorcycle to leave the roadway. Hammonds was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Plant Road five miles west of Talladega.

A single-vehicle crash at 6:20 p.m. on Oct. 16, claimed the life of a Munford man, Willie Lee Whitson, 59. He was killed when the 2011 Ford Ranger he was driving left the roadway and struck an embankment.  Whitson, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Stockdale Road five miles northeast of Talladega.

A two-vehicle crash at 3:25 p.m. on Oct. 16, claimed the life of a Eastaboga man, Christopher Lee Akins, 25. He was killed when the 2005 Honda motorcycle he was operating collided with a 2005 Scion driven by Jayde Sunshyne Guy, 17, of Anniston. Akins was pronounced dead at the scene. Guy was also injured and transported to a local area hospital. The crash occurred on Alabama 202 two miles southwest of Anniston. 
 
A single-vehicle crash at 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 18, claimed the life of a Jasper man. Justin Scott Chappell, 22, was killed when the 1999 Honda Accord he was driving left the roadway in a curve and overturned.  Chappell, who was not using a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Alabama 69 at the 214 mile maker, five miles north of Jasper.  
 
A single-vehicle crash at 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 18, claimed the life of a Winfield man. Colin David Norris, 19, was killed when the 2007 Toyota Tacoma he was driving left the roadway in a curve and struck a tree. Norris was pronounced dead at the scene.  The crash occurred on Alabama 96 at the 21 mile maker, four miles east of Kennedy.

A two-vehicle crash on Oct. 18, claimed the life of a Lynn woman. Summer Delaney Adamson, 20, was killed when the 1999 Honda Civic she was driving collided with a 1999 Chevrolet C1500.  Adamson was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred at 6 p.m. on U.S. 43, four miles south of Hackleburg.

The University of Alabama's Center for Advanced Public Safety keeps a running total on Alabama's traffic crashes that are investigated by Alabama State Troopers.

CAPS' data indicates YTD troopers have investigated 24,653 crashes in 2015 compared to 22,776 up to the same point in 2014. That's an eight percent increase.

Including fatalities, there have been 10,759 injuries from those wrecks in 2015 compared to 9,667 up to the same point in 2014. That's an almost 10 percent increase.

Where are the fatal crashes happening? CAPS says county roads lead in this category while interstates are the least dangerous. So far in 2015 there have been 170 county road deaths compared to just 43 interstate deaths. The numbers trend similarly in previous years with there being 175 county road deaths and 48 interstate deaths YTD in 2014.

And when it comes to restraint systems (seat belts) in traffic crashes, CAPS' 2015 YTD data shows seat belts have been available in 340 fatal incidents but were not used or use was undetermined in 219 cases. That's a rate of around 65 percent.

[DOCUMENT: CAPS traffic crash data]

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