More deaths in Yakima County

More deaths in Yakima County
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash.-- The Yakima County Coroner has released his annual report for 2012. More people died in Yakima County in 2012 compared to 2011.

"Numbers are still climbing every year," Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins said.

Accidental deaths came with those climbing numbers. Overdoses are the most common in Yakima County.

In 2012, there were 29 accidental deaths in Yakima County. All but one were overdoses. The numbers were significantly higher than 2011.

It's not the same story for homicides. There were fewer than 2011.

"Homicides were down a little bit which is good because we there for a while were setting records," Hawkins said.

In 2012, there were 11 homicides; down three in a year.

"I know we have a lot of shootings and stuff like that, but it actually is down," Hawkins said.

Traffic deaths also fell. In 2012, 26 people died in accidents compared to 42 a year earlier. However, the number of drunk drivers who died were about the same. Yakima Traffic Officer James Moore credits the department's work on the streets.

"There's approximately been 5-10% more DUIs over the last two years given by officers," Moore said.

Officer Moore says those arrests possibly prevented a deadly accident later. But, that work doesn't account for the crashes where alcohol wasn't a factor. All of them are included in the 675 people who died in Yakima County last year.

So far this year, there have been five homicides in Yakima County. Coroner Jack Hawkins says the biggest spike has been deaths related to domestic issues.