April 1999 - Monthly Fatality Report

Department of Public Safety officials report a decrease of nine traffic fatalities in April for a total of 64, compared to 73 in the same month last year.

There were 15 single-vehicle fatality crashes and 26 two-vehicle crashes reported. Four of the 64 victims were pedestrians and three were motorcyclists. Sixteen people died on Mondays and 13 on Saturdays, with five deathless days in the month.

Eight of the 52 fatality crashes were alcohol-related in the opinion of the investigating state, county or municipal officer. There were 42 male and 22 female victims, and 13 of the fatalities were nonresidents.

The leading number of deaths by age group includes 13 victims in the 31- to 40-year-old age group, dropping to ten in the 71 and over group. Two deaths occurred in the 10-year-old and under category. Jefferson, McClain, Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties led the state in total fatalities with four, followed by three in Delaware, McCurtain, Mayes and Rogers Counties.

Twenty-nine percent of those who died were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash, according to DPS statistics. For the first time this year, the leading cause of death was not due to driving at unsafe speeds. Sixteen people died in 12 crashes as the result of travelling left of center or passing. The second-leading cause was unsafe speed with 14 deaths, followed by failure to stop or yield with a total of 11.

"The good news is that the traffic fatality count is still lower than last year's total by 11. However, the numbers are still too high. As the school year comes to an end and weather gets better, there will be an increase of travelers," said First Lieutenant Stewart Meyer, Oklahoma Highway Patrol. "We continue to encourage everyone to slow down and remain attentive at all times while driving."