Nine fatalities on Rutherford County roads in 2012

Jan. 04, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

FOREST CITY — Eight people died on North Carolina highways in Rutherford County and a teenage mother died on a Forest City road in 2012.

There were also nine traffic fatalities in 2011, seven on state roads and two on municipal roads in Forest City.

"The number of highway deaths in 2012 are lower than 2011 in Troop G, District 11, comprised of Rutherford and McDowell counties," said First Sgt. Chris McClelland at Troop G's Marion office. "But any fatality is one too many." 

He said there are several factors the highway patrol is focusing on in last year's fatal wrecks. Only one of the deaths occurred after dark and there were no alcohol-related collisions that resulted in traffic deaths.

"Those things really jump out at us and all but one of these also indicated left of center and over-corrected (driving)," McClelland said. "But most of these people were obeying the basic speed law."

One of the 2012 fatalities occurred on US 221 near the Buck Collins Road at the construction zone.

"That was a disregard for a stop sign," he said of the fatal collision that involved a moped rider last August.

The only fatality that occurred after dark was Feb. 3, 2012 on US 64 and involved speed.

"We have been more visibility in the high collision areas of US 221 at the work zones and have placed more personnel there. We have had some problems there," McClelland continued.

Before a spike in collisions in December, McClelland said Rutherford County was experiencing a downward trend in the number of collisions for the year.

"But with the last couple weeks in December, the collisions went up and now we're about the same as last year," he said.

The final report on the collision numbers will be available next week.

"Education and visibility is our focus as we continue to move forward in 2013," McClelland said.

He says the NCHP will also focus on motorcycle safety, teen driving and distracted driving.  

The 2012 fatalities included a teenager mother of a toddler, a total of six women between the ages of 18 and 86 years and three men, between the ages of 46 and 83 years.

The deaths included an elderly couple, 83 and 86. The woman died after being transported to the hospital. The husband died at the scene.

One death occurred on US 64; one on US 221A and another on US 221. Others were on Robinson Creek Road, Cane Creek Road, New House Road and Race Path Church Road.