Gadsden County Officials Concerned About Traffic Fatalities

So far this year 17 traffic deaths have been reported in the county, and it's only June. Officials with the Florida Highway Patrol and Gadsden County Sheriff's Office blame a mixture of speeding, alcohol and people not wearing safety belts.

But they say something needs to be done fast as we approach this busy fourth of July weekend. Earlier this month a young man traveling from South Carolina passing through Gadsden County lost his life in one of the county's now 17 traffic fatalities.

Due to the spike, the Sheriff's Office is forced to restructure.

MAJ David Ganious of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says, "We took our resource officers and instead of putting them out on patrol, we made them into a special unit and all they're doing is working traffic. Every day they are working traffic."

MAJ Mark Trammell with the Florida Highway Patrol says several factors contribute to the spike in addition to the rise statewide.

MAJ Trammell says, "We know that alcohol has contributed to several crashes. We know failure to be restrained has contributed and speeding is always related to crashes we investigate over there."

Last year in Gadsden County, there were 24 traffic deaths for the entire year. Although this year's total has not passed 24, both Gainous and Trammell agree one fatality is too many.

This Friday the Sheriff's Office and FHP will work together conduct a DUI checkpoint, hoping the prevent accidents this weekend.