Higher number of fatal crashes in state

Highway fatalities in South Dakota are running significantly higher than a year ago.  Officials said the number of fatalities is up 27-percent over last year.

Amanda Hossle, director of the state’s Office of Highway Safety, said that seatbelt use is a factor in many of the fatal crashes.

Hossle said it’s those risky driving behaviors that make many of these fatal crashes avoidable.

Hossle said these fatal crashes are impacting a lot of lives.

So far this year, Hossle said there have been 70 fatal crashes that have killed 79 people. In all of 2020, there were 132 fatal crashes that killed 141 people.

Those numbers will likely go up over the next few weeks with hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists making their way to South Dakota for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which begins Friday.