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Fatalities during the 100 Deadliest Days in Fremont County higher than normal

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A cross in the middle of U.S. Highway 20 marking the spot of a crash that killed three teenagers this summer. | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

ST. ANTHONY — Although statewide fatalities on roadways were down this year, Fremont County saw an unusually high number of deaths.

Over the 100 Deadliest Days, which run from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Fremont County has seen nine fatalities on its roadways. In contrast, Idaho Transportation Department data show that in 2018 and 2019, nine people total died on the county’s roads.

“One is too many,” Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries told EastIdahoNews.com.

Preliminary data from ITD shows that during the same period, Idaho saw 78 people die in crashes. The number was down from 92 in 2019 and 101 in 2018.

“These fatal crashes have been very hard on the families,” Idaho State Police Lt. Chris Weadick said. “Its also been very tragic for the first responders to have to deal with so much carnage.”

Many of the fatal crashes in Fremont County happened on U.S. Highway 20, a thoroughfare through the county that takes visitors from around the world to Yellowstone National Park. Humphries said he is grateful for those who come to visit the beauty in his county but hopes everyone will pay attention and follow traffic laws to prevent fatalities.

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“That’s things we can all do,” Humphries said.

Fremont County deputies alone have written over 1,000 citations for traffic violations since the start of 2020. Most of the citations are speeding tickets. Recently, deputies wrote a driver a citation for going 108 miles per hour on Highway 20 near Island Park.

“We really reserve our citations for the most flagrant violators,” Weadick said. “This has never been an exercise in issuing citations; this has been an exercise of promoting traffic safety.”

To help with the heavy summer tourist traffic, Fremont County has received help from extra patrols from the Idaho State Police. Weadick said troopers on motorcycles were used, which created a safe environment for everyone on the road.

“We’re seeing a lot of good stuff. The majority of the people are following the rules of the road,” Weadick said. “It’s the minority of drivers out here causing our crashes. Those are the ones we’re intercepting.”

People who wish to report behavior such as distracted driving or suspected drunk driving are encouraged to call ISP dispatch at (208) 528-3408 or *477. Concerned drivers can also call 911.

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