3 pedestrians were injured in a car accident in Long Island, NY, after a drunk driver jumped the curb and struck them. 66-year-old Mitchell Messling was intoxicated and witnesses said he was driving erratically on West Merrick Road in Freeport when he jumped the curb and struck a family of 3 yesterday afternoon around 4:00 pm. A 11-year-old boy was seriously injured and had to be evacuated by helicopter while his parents were rushed to the hospital by ambulance.
The driver was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, second-degree vehicular assault, two counts of third-degree assault, two counts of driving while intoxicated, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving. He is due in Court Today in Hempstead.
An estimated 343 to 420 people died and 43,300 were injured in car accidents during this Memorial Day holiday, according to statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC). As many American families travel during the holiday, many of them travel by car and as traffic increases so do accidents.
The Memorial Day holiday officially starts Friday at 6:00 pm and ends Monday at 11:59 pm. While comparing traffic deaths during the Memorial day period to traffic deaths during an equivalent period before or after the holiday, the number of traffic fatalities during the holiday period is usually higher. For example in 2016, 392 people died in car crashes in the US compared to 327 in an equivalent non-holiday period before Memorial Day and 359 in an equivalent non-holiday period after Memorial Day. However it is not always the case. In 2017, 345 people died in car accidents during the Memorial Day holiday compared to 327 during an equivalent period before the holiday and 358 during an equivalent period after the holiday. Memorial Day holiday car crash fatalities reached their lowest at 334 in 2013, their highest was 498 in 1997.
Alcohol consumption during the Memorial Day holiday is a significant cause of fatal accidents
The percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities is always higher during the Memorial Day period than the annual average. Back in 1982, when the NSC started its statistics, the car accident fatalities related to drunk driving represented 58% of all fatalities compared to an annual average of 48%. During the 2017 Memorial Day holiday drunk driving fatalities represented 36% of all traffic fatalities compared to an annual average of 28%.
Not wearing a seat belt is also a major factor of traffic accident fatalities. The NSC estimates that during this Memorial Day holiday, 148 people lost their life because they were not wearing a seat belt. The most at risk are light truck occupants.