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South Dakota Highway Patrol investigating spike in fatal crashes

South Dakota Highway Patrol

South Dakota Highway Patrol officials said the state has seen a recent spike in fatal crashes, most of which involved victims not wearing seat belts.

Department of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price said since Oct. 15, troopers have investigated six crashes that left a total of eight people dead.

Six of the deceased were not wearing seat belts, according to Price.

The crashes were reported in nearly every corner of the state. The most recent was a single-vehicle rollover Friday near Harrisburg.

Despite the recent surge, the state is seeing an overall decline in fatal crashes in 2022. Department of Public Safety data showed 83 fatalities this year, compared to 103 through this time in 2021.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.