(Le Mars) — 2020 was a deadly year in terms of fatal accidents that occurred within Plymouth County. According to Plymouth County Chief Deputy Rick Singer with the Sheriff’s Office, he says Plymouth County had nine different fatalities as a result of vehicle accidents, three had occurred in November.
Although there were fewer accidents reported in 2020 than in 2019, Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Struve says the trend generally shows an increase of traffic accidents within the county during the last few years. Struve serves as the traffic incident investigator for the sheriff’s office.
Struve says with each of the nine fatality accidents within Plymouth County last year, there were some common factors with those accidents.
With regards to the stop signs, Chief Deputy Singer says too many times, motorists would either ignore the stop signs, or if they did stop, they chose to pull out in front of traffic.
Speed has been a contributing factor with many of the traffic fatalities, and law enforcement officials are stepping up their efforts to curtail speeders on the roads. Singer says additional patrol units will be watching Highway 75.
Singer continued by sharing an incident where a motorcyclist was driving at excessive speeds.
Another more recent episode involved a semi truck traveling at 69 miles an hour on Highway 3 during the latest blizzard when visibility was listed at zero at times. Singer says he was at the time responding to a rollover accident and couldn’t perform a traffic stop on the semi truck. Singer says often times people don’t take in consideration the weather conditions, or the fact that our rural roads have farm equipment that travel at slower speeds. Deputy Struve says the 2020 fatal accidents happened all across the county.
Singer says when a fatality occurs, it requires a great deal of time for the investigation, and often uses many resources.
Singer offers some advice to motorists