LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Although most Nevadans have been driving less this past year, the roads have become more deadly.
Traffic fatalities are up nearly 8% in the state, according to Nevada’s Office of Traffic Safety.
To date, at least 252 lives have been lost in car crashes and the two top factors in those deadly crashes were impairment and speeding. Law enforcement worries that number will increase with the upcoming holidays.
Last year, there were four traffic fatalities on Thanksgiving Day alone. That was more than the previous five years combined.
One of those deaths happened at Durango Drive and Russell Road. Police say a drunk driver ran a red light and hit another car, killing 32-year-old Monique Prado, a single mother of three children. She, and her 12-year-old daughter, were out Thanksgiving morning to get some drinks from Starbucks.
“It’s still hard to wrap my head around what happened. You know, in a split second she was gone. This thanksgiving we’re going to be spending it at the cemetery with the kids. I never thought in my wildest dreams that that is where I would spend the holidays with my daughter. She was my only daughter,” said Norma Kennedy, victim’s mother.
She does not like to focus on how her daughter died but she says if sharing her story means saving at least one life — it’s worth it.
Police say Nathaniel Postelle’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. According to the Clark Count District Attorney’s Office, Postelle pleaded guilty to DUI resulting in death in a plea agreement. He is currently on house arrest and faces as many as 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in March.
Law enforcement is urging people to drive sober, buckle up and follow the speed limit to keep people from losing a loved one.
“Truly it’s unacceptable when we consider for several months during this year we had a significant reduction in volume in traffic on our roadways, but unfortunately with speed and impairment we’ve seen an increase in fatalities because of those two behaviors,” said Andrew Bennett, Nevada Office of Traffic Safety.
The DUI Strike Team, which was formed in 2018, is attempting to put an end DUI fatal crashes. Already this year, the team has arrested more than 1,100 people in Clark County on suspicion of DUI.
That team will be beefing up enforcement all of Thanksgiving week.