Pa. state police report 9 killed in crashes over 5-day Fourth of July holiday
The Pennsylvania State Police reported that nine people died in eight crashes over the Fourth of July holiday, the second deadliest Independence Day stretch in the last five years.
Four of those roadway deaths happened in Western Pennsylvania, data for the state police’s five-day enforcement period shows.
Three people died statewide during the three-day July Fourth holiday period in 2018. In 2017, 13 people died in crashes over a four-day enforcement period. The enforcement period varies from year to year depending on when the holiday falls during the week. This year’s enforcement period covered the five days from Wednesday, July 3, through Sunday, July 7.
“The numbers really do kind of fluctuate,” said Ryan Tarkowski, a Pennsylvania State Police spokesman. “We try not to read too much into it from holiday to holiday.”
The state police data is from roads it patrols and not from roads covered by local police.
Only one of the fatal crashes last week involved alcohol.
The state police reported 975 crashes statewide during the 2019 holiday period. There were 581 crashes during the 2018 period.
State police arrested more than 1,100 people during the five-day period; 607 of the arrests were for DUI. In addition to DUI, troopers also made arrests for various warrant, drug and gun violations, Tarkowski said.
Counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania accounted for one in five of all DUI arrests.
Troop B – a patrol area that includes Allegheny, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties – had the second-most DUI arrests with 59. Troop J — covering Chester, Lancaster and York counties — led the state with 64.
Troop A – which covers four counties including Westmoreland – had the third-most speeding citations in the state with 1,106 and the greatest number of seat belt warnings with 209.
The holiday’s 975 crashes injured 287 people.