Deadly Year On The Road
It's been a deadly year on our roadways, so far this year, there's been 151 traffic fatalities in north central Florida.
On Monday morning, Alachua County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Scott Ulrich pulled over on Interstate-75 during a thunderstorm to help the driver of a single vehicle accident when a BMW rammed into his patrol car.
"He was responding to a crash up on the interstate, and shortly thereafter, his vehicle was struck by another vehicle," said Todd Kelly, ACSO spokesperson.
Ulrich was not in his car when the crash occurred.
High Springs firefighter Chad Hood was killed on his motorcycle Tuesday morning when a van pulled out in front of him on U.S. 441.
Hood's death is the 22nd traffic fatality so far this year in Alachua county, according to Florida Highway Patrol, 10 more deaths on the road than the same time last year.
"My goal is that it will stop for the rest of the year, and that nothing will happen, but we both understand that unfortunately it may continue to rise," said Sgt. Jayson Levy, ACSO traffic unit commander.
In Marion county, there are 15 fewer deaths this year, compared to the same time last year.
"Once a month the Marion County Sheriff's Office, the Highway Patrol, and the Ocala Police Department join forces and we attack roadways with a high number of traffic accidents or traffic complaints on them," said Lt. Dennis Joiner, traffic unit commander for the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Officials say high visibility patrols are key in bringing down the numbers.
"There are budget constraints that every agency has to look at and work through, but internally we're either going to adjust some schedules, use extra staff, change some things around to make it work--- and it doesn't necessarily have to work from the agency stand point- but it has to work for the community," said Levy.
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- Three years after deadly I-75 pileup, survivor breaks silence