The Highway Patrol reports there was only one death on Missouri highways over the New Year’s Eve weekend. Captain Tim Hull says that’s compared to five deaths in the same time period last year.
“I think the weather this year was pretty cooperative for travel. Historically, the New Year’s holiday is not a big, heavily traveled holiday as far as people traveling across the country or across the state. It’s more of a localized thing, go and to and from New Year’s parties,” Hull said.
Hull thinks increased DUI enforcement helps people make smarter decisions.
“If they’ve known anybody or they themselves have been involved in a DWI arrest… they know how expensive that process can be to get their driver’s license back and get their vehicle insured. Once they go through that process they certainly don’t want to go through it again, so they’ll take advantage of a designated driver or sober chaeuffer or the alternative forms of transportation like taxis or buses,” Hull said.
Troopers made 90 DUI arrests during the New Year’s counting period; from 6:00 Friday night to midnight on Sunday. There were 157 crashes with 70 injuries and the one fatality. Hull says that number could change if late deaths occur. Last year, there were 319 crashes with 92 injuries, five deaths and 113 DUI arrests.
The one person that died this weekend was 31-year-old Joseph Russell, whose car hit a freightliner head-on in Greene County on New Year’s Day. The county medical examiner says Russell died on the scene.