Fatalities Triple On Ward County Roads 3/16/13
CBS 7 News
March 16, 2013
WARD COUNTY-The Permian Basin saw dramatic increases in the number of deaths on its roads.
One county in particular has seen the death toll triple in the last year.
15 people lost their lives on Ward County Roads last year—that’s up from just five in 2011.
Ward county Sheriff Mikel Strickland says the roads out here just can't handle the traffic.
"The county roads are decimated, they just can’t cope with the traffic,” Strickland said, adding that oil boom traffic on highways and county roads is taking its toll.
And it's a far-reaching problem--not just in Ward County. The numbers are part of a larger study of area roads and highways.
"Throughout the Permian Basin region we've seen this same increase,” said James Beauchamp of the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance.
Beauchamp has strong words for state lawmakers—he says they need lobby for major roadwork in our area.
"These types of safety issues, if they were closer to Austin, I don't think they'd be tolerated at all,” said Beauchamp. “Out here in West Texas, it's out of sight and out of mind."
For now, Sheriff Strickland says buckling up and slowing down are good ways to help reduce the number of accidents and fatalities.