POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop E attributed no deaths to motor vehicle accidents between 6 p.m. Thursday and midnight Sunday. That, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol's safety officer, Sgt. Dale Moreland, is a record to be proud of.
"Our goal is to maintain the safety of Missourians and visitors traveling Troop E's highways and we feel that we are accomplishing that goal. When you have a holiday weekend like the Fourth of July with no major accidents and virtually no injuries to report, you know you've done your job well," Moreland said.
According to Moreland, it has been several years since Troop E, which covers Southeast Missouri from Cape Girardeau County to the Arkansas border, experienced a fatality-free Fourth of July holiday.
A saturation of Troop E prior to the holiday can also be credited with the lack of serious accidents in the area, Moreland said.
There were some arrests in the area involving people who were nabbed driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and Moreland credits the patrol, as well as other local law enforcement agencies, in assuring that those drivers were removed from the area's highways.
While Troop E can boast of no fatalities, other areas across Missouri were not so fortunate and a lesson can be learned with regard to the use of seat belts when taking a look at the fatalities, Moreland said.
Ten people died in crashes during the counting period across the state.
The patrol worked 266 crashes, in which nine people died and 158 were injured. The Platte County Sheriff's Department investigated one fatality. Troopers arrested 195 people for driving while intoxicated during this year's holiday weekend. During last year's 30-hour counting period, two people died and 230 were injured in 426 traffic crashes statewide. Troopers made 50 driving while intoxicated arrests during the 2007 counting period.