The Wright County Sheriff’s Office, the Mountain Grove Fire Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol recently released data for their year end review of 2021.
The Wright County Sheriff’s Office reported handling 6,979 calls for service in 2021 with 782 traffic stops, 647 citations issues and 1,077 inmates were booked into the jail.
The office was noted they hired a full-time investigator, implemented 24-hour patrol of the County and began implementation of a K-9 program.
A Special Operations Group was also formed combining forces with police departments in Mountain Grove, Mansfield and Hartville. It will be trained to handle a variety of specialized calls like search and rescue, high risk search warrants and fugitive apprehensions.
The MGFD reported they responded to 1,143 calls in 2021. Some of the main highlights includes 55 motor vehicle accidents, 37 landing zones, 28 structure fires, 12 haz-mat incidents, eight mutual aid structure fires and six vehicle fires.
It was noted that the rest of the calls were EMS, weather related and natural cover fires. They said last February was the worst month for fires as there were nine structure fires during a time where temperatures dipped below zero degrees.
For the first time since 2006, Missouri’s traffic fatalities surpassed 1,000. According to preliminary data for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 1,004 people were killed in Missouri traffic crashes in 2021, a nearly 3% increase over 2020 and marking the second straight year of growing fatality totals after nearly a decade of steady decline.
“These fatalities are unacceptable, alarming and preventable,” said MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna. “There are simple things we can all do to make a real impact on our roadways. Wearing your seat belt is your best line of defense in a crash and avoiding distractions can prevent those crashes in the first place. Buckle up, phone down.”
Lack of seat belt use continues to be a common denominator in fatal crashes.
Approximately two-thirds of vehicle occupants killed were not wearing a seat belt. Preliminary data shows drivers using a cellphone were involved in more than 2,200 crashes in Missouri in 2021, although distracted driving remains widely underreported. And 40% of the fatal crashes on the year involved speeding or driving too fast for the conditions.