UPDATE: Kitsap Sees 16th Road Fatality

Last week, we ran a story about a scary statistic: an increased amount of traffic accident fatalities on Kitsap County roads in the past three months. The total for the year was 15.

No more.

On Sunday, a 47-year-old Bainbridge Island man was killed in a single-vehicle collision on Grand Avenue near Yeomalt Point Drive on Bainbridge Island. Police believe speed and alcohol were a factor.

No. 16.

Last year, many of you will remember accidents on North Kitsap’s Bond Road — or Highway 307 — resulted in numerous fatalities. This year, the roadway has had two — but the rest of the county has seen a spike in the past three months of 11 more fatalities.

The first seven months had 5 around the county. That sizable an increase has area law enforcement and the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers worried.

The causes of the accidents are varied, but the two most common factors seem to be speed and alcohol. And since we’re entering the busy — and often drink-filled — holiday season, there is a sense there will be more drunks and speeders on the road this fall and winter.

What tips can anyone offer to help curb the deaths?

8 thoughts on “UPDATE: Kitsap Sees 16th Road Fatality

  1. And tragically there have now been 17, equal to last year.

    Of the 43,443 fatalities in the U.S for 2005, 16,885 involved alcohol and 13,113 involved high speed. Those were violent deaths that could have been completely avoided. In 2005 there were 2,699,000 serious injuries.

    Please, don’t drink and drive or drug and drive. Be sure to have a completely sober designated driver. .08 is just a number. A person can still be charged with DUI even if the BAC is under .08. Thousands of fatalities involve drivers with a BAC between .01 and .07

    Driving is one of the most dangerous things that many of us will ever do. Be a responsible driver by obeying the laws of the road. Put away the phone, the laptop, the makeup, the food etc. and put your attention to just driving the car. I always drive with the assumption that everyone else on the road is either impaired,inexperienced,inattentive, or stupid.

    Set a good example for our future drivers. Our kids learn much from the people who drive them. Teach them to obey the law, to be courteous, and attentive to the road by your good example.

    Driving is a privledge that comes with huge responsablility. This holiday season there will be at least 17 familys and hundreds of friends that will be missing their loved one in our own community. Do your part to stop this from happening to someone else or yourself.

  2. There are also fatal accidents that happen without alcohol or drugs being involved. I agree that alcohol and drugs is the most contributing factor, but let us not forget other fatal accidents that don’t involve these components.

    I suggest that people take a defensive driving course. It is one of the things my employer had us do last year. It was a full day event and was the best thing any of us went through. It came in handy for me when a car passed our RV while on vacation and we were traveling on a curvy river road and the car passed me when another car was oncoming. If I hadn’t had that training, I would not have been able to stop our RV in time. It was that close.

  3. These deaths could be avoided if the first time offender was taught never to do drugs/alcohol and drive again.
    Why not confiscate the car…no matter who owned it…unless it were stolen…and a mandatory jail time…to include cleaning up after other drunks…particularly to clean up vomit from a sick drunk.
    Make driving a vehicle drunk/drugs/ tough and unpleasant enough that a person will likely not do it again.
    The odds are that the drunk/impaired drivers involved in these accidents have been ticketed in the past for drunk driving….slapped on the wrist and let go.
    Maybe you could check it out, Josh…

  4. I’ve personally believed for quite some time now that one of the reasons we DON’T have tougher, mandatory penalties for drunk driving is so many of our politicians do it. They like the preferential treatment of, “Oh, well, shucks Miss/Mister Important, we’ll just give you a warning and sixty days probation.” If there were MANDATORY (hefty) fines, community service, and/or jail time, how would they get these breaks they so love?

    I don’t recall the name, but a few years ago, I believe it was a female…judge I think in Seattle. She was barely punished at all for it. That’s probably why I’m so jaded, seeing the wealthy and important get away with it and the poorer…well, heck, they practically do too in a lot of cases.

  5. The ‘wealthy’ are not treated better in drunk driving fines/punishments…if they get as far as a jury trial…and they are judged by a jury of their ‘peers’…
    Juries have a tendency to…’there by the Grace of God’ go I when faced with a drunk driving offense…and go light.
    Mandatory sentencing and punishments should be standard…especially harsh for the first time offender….harsh enough that s/he will not want to again drink/drug and drive…but if they do, they will be given a harsher sentencing.

  6. Josh, at one time the Sun and other local publications posted the names of those arrested for DUI along with the fine imposed. Why did that stop?

  7. TJ,

    Good question. At one time, we had a reporter who solely devoted his time to the courthouse — and he named most suspects charged with crimes.

    Unfortunately, we simply don’t have the resources now to do that in every last case. However, it is our policy that when it comes to fatal crashes involving DUI, those behind the wheel are named.

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