2009 July 4th safest in years

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Public safety leaders believe all the weekend warnings made a difference. The headline this Fourth of July: refreshingly, the holiday was one of the safest in years.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers responded to just one fatal accident over the weekend. It happened on Interstate 80 near Jeremy Ranch.

July 4 Fatalities

-*Utah Highway Patrol*

Troopers say the car swerved into the motorcyclist's lane. He slammed on his brakes to avoid the car but didn't slow down on time. His bike crashed, then flipped several times, killing him. UHP says even one death is too many, but it's encouraging there weren't more. In the last decade, the Independence Day holiday has brought death to Utah roads. In 1999, there were 10 fatalities; in 2002, there were eight; in 2005, there were nine; and just last year there were 12.

"I think this weekend people were responsible and proactive wearing their seat belts. If they were drinking, they were responsible about it. So, I think a lot of voluntary compliance on the public's side," said UHP Trooper Cameron Roden.

KSL did report a tragedy: 3-year-old Adan Maximus Garcia drowned while vacationing with his family at Yuba State Park*.

Still, doctors at Primary Children's Medical Center saw fewer children with traumatic injuries. The number of cases was less than half: eight in 2009 compared to 18 in 2008.

Fourth of July traumas
Primary Children's Medical Center198
University Hospital1323
Intermountain Medical Center2831

Dr. Ed Pruitt, with PCMC, had issued a plea to parents to leave fire works to the professionals. He didn't want to see the typical fire works burns that so often severely injure children's faces and hands. In all, the weekend encouraged those who track public safety.

"Compared to years past, this was a great weekend for us," Roden said.

But they don't want people to let up on safety. The July 24th holiday is typically the second-deadliest holiday in Utah, and it's right around the corner.


Story compiled with contributions from [Courtney Orton](mailto:dwimmer@ksl.comNadine Wimmer and <a href=>).

\Note: An account has been set up to help Adan Garcia's family pay for medical and funeral expenses. You can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank. The account is under Aaron and Birtha Garcia. Ksl.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does ksl.com assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.*

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