Fatal crashes increase in Beaufort and Jasper counties

Fatal crashes increase in Beaufort and Jasper counties

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - Beaufort and Jasper counties have seen a dramatic increase in fatal accidents from this time last year.

So far Jasper County has 17 and Beaufort County just reached 18 after a deadly wreck on Labor Day.

It happened after 22-year-old Jamasha Nelson ran into the back of a moped, killing the 54-year-old driver on Highway 21 and Martin Lane in Beaufort on Monday.

With almost half of the fatal wrecks occurring in the summer months alone, known as the 100 Deadly Days of Summer. It's the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

It's also the period where law enforcement sees most of their fatal wrecks.

Before the Memorial Day weekend, there were 10 fatal wrecks in Beaufort and only nine in Jasper County. At least four of those wrecks included an impaired driver. That's why the South Carolina Highway Patrol was out in full force this summer, trying to make sure those numbers didn't increase.

So they launched their "Sober or Slammer" campaign and set up various checkpoints throughout the state, especially during those heavy traffic weekends. But, unfortunately, during those 100 days, we did see an increase of eight wrecks in both counties.

"Distractions always play a role in the majority of our crashes, but more or less speed is the number one thing. We do live in a world where it's go, go, go all the time, but we have to make plans and give an extra few minutes so we can get to our destinations safely," said SCHP Lance Corporal Matt Southern.

First responders in the area also cite speed as a factor. Over here a lot of our roads go up to 50 or 60 mph, especially Trask Parkway, where that latest accident happened.

So far this year there have been at least three deadly wrecks and more than 50 accidents on Hwy 21 alone.

The last time Beaufort County saw a big spike like this was in 2014 and Jasper County has tripled its numbers since 2013.

Copyright 2016 WTOC. All rights reserved.