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No Fatal Crashes Reported Over Holiday

Kealey Bultena

Public safety officials say this year’s holiday weekend breaks a trend in fatal crashes on South Dakota roads. Lee Axdahl is director of the state’s Office of Highway Safety.

"We always head into Memorial Day weekend, which is the unofficial start of summer, with our fingers crossed, and this year that worked," Axdahl says. "Apparently, from the information that we have so far in South Dakota, we don't know of any roadway fatalities that have been reported in the state for the official Memorial Day weekend, which is good, because in 2014 we had six fatalities and in 2015 we had four."

Axdahl says law enforcement agencies report people hurt in car crashes over the holiday. He says some could have died if the circumstances were different – for example, if they weren’t wearing seat belts.

Axdahl says keeping the roads safe is becoming more difficult; he says people are distracted while driving and don’t realize the danger in their behavior.

"And it's just one of those challenges that we have to keep tackling as we keep reminding people that, if other drivers can't text and drive or drink and drive or speed and drive, I shouldn't be able to do it either, and that will eventually catch up with me in one form or another," Axdahl says.

Axdahl says people should obey speed limits and other laws and buckle seat belts to increase their safety on the road.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).