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September 25, 2023

56 highway fatalities during New Year holiday

Editor’s note: This story was updated from a previous version.

There were at least 56 fatalities on the highways and 709 DUI arrests across California over the New Year’s holiday, California Highway Patrol officer Sam Courtney said.

The totals are a steep climb from last year’s three fatalities and 491 DUI arrests. 

In Santa Cruz County there were 14 DUI arrests and no fatalities, Courtney said.

Courtney did add that there were a few major injury crashes. One involved a 43-year-old Santa Cruz man who plowed his bicycle into a traffic median around 1:30am on Capitola Road at Harbor View Court. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Of the state’s fatal totals, 12 of them involved people not wearing seat belts. Three of them involved pedestrians.

The numbers are from the CHP’s New Year’s Day Maximum Enforcement Period, from Dec. 31 at midnight to Sunday at midnight.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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