Troopers report 8 traffic fatalities, 8 boat crashes over July 4th holiday

Special to Atmore News

Troopers within Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Highway Patrol and Marine Patrol divisions spent the extended Independence Day weekend patrolling Alabama roadways and waterways, while ALEA pilots kept an eye on the state’s Gulf Coast beaches from the air.
During the holiday period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 1, and ended at midnight Monday, July 4, highway patrol troopers investigated eight traffic fatalities, with crashes occurring in Calhoun, Escambia, Lawrence, Lowndes and Tuscaloosa counties. A motorcyclist and a pedestrian were among those fatality injured.
Of the six individuals who were traveling in vehicles when they were killed, two were not using seat belts at the time of their crashes.
Troopers also made 46 arrests for driving under the influence.
ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division investigated eight boating crashes on six Alabama lakes — Lay Lake, Wilson Lake, Lake Harding, Smith Lake, Lake Guntersville and Lake Martin. The crashes resulted in two minor injuries and no fatalities.
Marine troopers also arrested nine people for boating under the influence as part of their annual Operation Dry Water detail, a national safety campaign designed to detect and remove impaired boaters from waterways, as well as to educate the public on the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
ALEA took safety measures a step further over the holiday period, with agency pilots joining Gulf Shores and Orange Beach authorities in providing a rapid response water emergency team.
During the extended holiday, ALEA Aviation performed 16 patrol flights, and Aviation / Rescue Swimmer crews identified multiple swimmers who were not within a safe distance of shore and relayed information to beach lifeguards.