Curry County has averaged six motor-vehicle fatalities a year since 1996

By Eric Norwood Jr.

CNJ staff writer

enorwood@pntonline.com

U.S. 60-84 is the most dangerous road in Curry County, with 16 fatalities as a result of vehicle accidents since 1996.

Mabry Drive and N.M. 209 are tied for second (nine), according to figures from the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

There were four fatal accidents in Curry County in 2013, with three occurring on Mabry Drive.

Curry County averaged six fatalities a year in motor-vehicle accidents during the 23-year span, with a third being alcohol-related, according to the NMDOT.

The totals ranged for a high of 13 (2011, 2006, 2005) to low of two in 1997.

Curry County has seen a steady drop in the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths in the past few years, with the total decreasing by one each year since 2011.

Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller believes lower numbers can be attributed to more education and aggressive enforcement.

“There has been a dedicated aspect in both areas from the law enforcement in Curry County,” said Waller.

Numbers for alcohol-related traffic deaths are down in the state of New Mexico as well as Curry County for 2013.

                       Alcohol
    Fatalities    related
2013    4    1
2012    4    2
2011    13    3
2010    7    0
2009    3    2
2008    6    0
2007    7    2
2006    13    4
2005    13    5
2004    4    0
2003    7    3
2002    5    4
2001    6    2
2000    4    2
1999    7    2
1998    3    2
1997    2    2
1996    4    0
Total    112    36

Leading causes of motor vehicle fatalities in Curry County (1996-2011):
30: Alcohol or drugs
18: Excessive speed/too fast for conditions
12: Failure to yield
6: Left of center

Deadliest roads in Curry County (1996-2013)
• U.S. 60/84: 16 fatalities
• Mabry Drive: 9
• N.M. 209: 9
• Prince Street: 7
• N.M. 467: 6
• N.M. 206: 6
• U.S. 70: 6

Source: New Mexico Department of Transportation