Traffic Deaths Up

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There's a deadly trend sweeping across the Big Bend and local law enforcement fears it's only going to get worse.

Authorities say fatal car accidents already surpassed last year’s numbers. In April 2005, a fiery crash killed two people and tied up traffic for hours along I-10.

Less than a month later Madison County is the scene of another deadly interstate accident. In June of 2005, a head-on collision kills a young man on the way to a family funeral.

Across the area, officers have seen a spike in traffic fatalities. Here's how the numbers break down: Leon County deputies have worked five fatalities so far this year; last year they worked none.

The Tallahassee Police Department has seen a rise as well. To date, 14 people have been killed in car accidents compared to just seven in all of last year, and with the wet weather ahead, officers fear that number will rise.

"People don't slow down to drive how the conditions would require," said Leon County Sheriff's SGT Paul Pruett.

Most motorists say they change their driving habits to accommodate rainy roads.

"I rear ended someone one time and I learned my lesson," said Angela Shuman.

Authorities say mother nature does play a role in fatal accidents, but the majority of this year’s deadly crashes can be attributed to drunk driving, not wearing seat belts and driving too fast.

The local Florida Highway Patrol troop has seen an increase as well in fatal accidents. Last year 66 people were killed in the Big Bend. So far, 40 people have died in fatal car accidents.