4/18/2014

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Fewer accidents reflect deputies amping up patrols

Fewer accidents reflect deputies amping up patrols

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- More patrols by deputies in Yakima County seem to be making a difference. They've been concentrating on roads with a dangerous reputation. So far, accidents are down in the places they've targeted.

Buckled and ready to go. Larry Rowe always makes sure he's secure after seeing his fair share of accidents in front of his house on Ahtanum Road.

"They're hitting speeds of anywhere from 70 to 95 miles an hour," said Larry Rowe.

The Yakima County Sheriff's Office is aware of the problem and labeled it as a a dangerous road in the county. Larry says the intersection of Ahtanum and 64th is a known trouble spot. Deputies blame speeding and distracted driving for causing a lot of the accidents.

"People pulling out in front and, no, they're just not fender benders, they're some nice mess-ups", said Rowe.

It's not the only notorious stretch. North Wenas, Ahtanum, Fort and Longmire are other dangerous locations.

KIMA learned deputies increased patrols to look for reckless drivers, they say it's working. The number of collisions is down by almost 80 this year. The number of deadly accidents also dropped.

"When I go out, I just say a prayer", said postal worker Bill Jeffery. "Lord, just please protect me and so far he has."

Neighbors noticed the increased presence from law enforcement. But, Larry still worries about his family after a deadly accident last year.

"We're both concerned anytime we pull out of our driveway", said Rowe.

Rowe and his wife look out for speeders and distracted drivers whenever they leave the house.

Deputies told KIMA more deadly accidents happen in the Lower Valley.

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