Georgia officers responded to 11 more traffic deaths over the Christmas holiday travel period this year than last, according to authorities.
In total, crashes resulted in 26 deaths between 6 p.m. Dec. 21 and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, the day after Christmas. The Georgia Department of Public Safety tracked the deadly crashes, seven of which happened in metro Atlanta.
That number is up from the 15 holiday traffic deaths the agency reported in 2017.
The Georgia State Patrol ramped up patrols in the days before and after Christmas, hoping to curb wrecks by putting a stop to unsafe driving habits, according to the agency.
“This is a festive time of the year and we want everyone to enjoy the holiday season, but we also want everyone to be safe out on our roads,” Col. Mark W. McDonough, commissioner for the Department of Public Safety, said in a statement.
Across the state, troopers investigated 700 crashes over the five-day period, up from the 515 they investigated in 2017. In 2018, those crashes resulted in 333 injuries and 14 deaths, the agency said in a press release.
They arrested 285 people for driving under the influence, and thousands more were issued citations and warnings.
Twelve more deadly crashes were investigated by local agencies.
Two people were killed in DeKalb County Saturday night when their car crossed into oncoming traffic on Allgood Road. On Sunday, a pedestrian was hit and killed at a busy intersection in northern Clayton County. The driver, who police suspected was under the influence, was arrested at the scene.
Another driver is facing a DUI charge after crashing into a utility pole in northwest Atlanta Sunday night, killing her passenger.
According to the GSP, Gwinnett County police investigated one deadly crash over the holiday period, and authorities in Columbia County, Dade County, Floyd County and the city of Savannah also reported traffic deaths.
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