MONTGOMERY-During the 2023 four-day Labor Day Weekend, Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) investigated eight traffic-related fatalities, compared to 10 in 2022, and experienced zero marine-related fatalities on Alabama’s waterways.
This year’s Labor Day weekend travel period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, and ended at midnight Monday, Sept. 4. During that time, there were eight deadly traffic crashes in Montgomery, Marion, Marshall, Cullman, Washington, Randolph, Tuscaloosa and Lawrence counties. Of the eight fatalities, four individuals were not using seat belts and the fifth involved an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) where the individual was not using restraints. The sixth fatality involved a motorcycle where the operator was using a helmet, the seventh, the individual was using a seat belt and the eighth, it was unable to be determined if the individual was using a seat belt at the time of crash.
“While the Agency noticed a decrease in traffic fatalities this Labor Day weekend, our goal is always zero lives lost,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “The loss of a loved one is always devastating, however, when the loss is a child, it impacts families in a way that changes them forever. As a parent, I cannot imagine the horror of losing a child at such a young age. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to all the families who lost loved ones over this most recent holiday weekend.”
During the Labor Day weekend, local law enforcement agencies responded to two separate traffic crashes, one fatally injuring a 16-year-old student from Albertville High School in Marshall County and another fatally injuring a 15-year-old Calera High School student in Shelby County. On Monday, Sept. 4, ALEA Troopers investigated another fatal crash in Lawrence County involving a 16-year-old driver of Harvest.
ALEA’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director, Colonel Jon Archer said, “Every year when school begins, we see a surge of students getting their Alabama Driver and Learners Licenses. We highly recommend that parents get involved and have a firm talk with their teenagers before they hit the road. Sadly, due to their inexperience and limited skills, teens are more prone to traffic accidents. We urge parents to conduct practice driving sessions with their teens and go over the rules of the road together. Remember, parents and guardians have more influence than they might realize. Set a good example and actively participate in your teen’s driving journey right from the start.”
Thankfully on the water, Troopers withing ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division did not investigate any marine-related fatalities. However, the four-day period did include three boating crashes with one minor injury reported. Two of the incidents occurred on Logan Martin Lake and one on Smith Lake. This past Labor Day weekend marked two summers in a row that the Agency has not experienced any marine-related fatalities during the three major holiday weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.
“Our Marine Patrol Division works diligently to take every opportunity to educate the public whether it is during a patrol stop, vessel check or at a public safety event. They have done an outstanding job educating and patrolling the waterways during the busiest weekends of the year; however, this success would not be possible without the assistance and care of each boater. We hope this trend continues each year and we encourage parents to also educate their teens on water and boating safety, as many will obtain their vessel license along with their Alabama Driver License,” Secretary Taylor said.
Additionally, ALEA’s Aviation Unit partnered with the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach once more to patrol beaches from the air and to assist with rescuing swimmers in distress as well as other incidents. During the extended weekend, ALEA pilots responded to assist two swimmers and performed approximately 10 beach safety flights.
Media Release/Senior Trooper Brandon Bailey
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency