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Independence Day begins with three deadly crashes in KC metro area

Troopers want to prevent crashes this holiday
Posted at 7:35 AM, Jul 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-04 08:35:00-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Authorities said three people died in separate car crashes across the Kansas City area early Tuesday. 

Kansas City police responded to two crashes involving motorcycles. In the first, at about 12:30 a.m., the driver exited I-35 at 12th Street. Police said they think he ran a red light, hit a curb and went airborne. The man who was driving died. Police said a female passenger is in critical condition. 

The second motorcycle crash happened at about 1:30 a.m. near 104th Street and Holmes Street. Police said a man lost control, hit a curb and crashed into a tree, killing him.

The third deadly crash of the day was in Johnson County. The Sheriff's Office said at about 1:20 a.m. a car went off the road and crashed along 151st Street near Gardner West Road. The driver of the car died. Paramedics took a passenger in the car to the hospital. 

Tuesday, troopers in Ray County said a woman died morning after her car went off the side of the road and crashed into the end of a guardrail. The crash happened near Kearney on West 160th Street. 

Each holiday, the highway patrol collects data on the crashes its troopers work. It says the number of crashes spike during the holiday. This year, troopers want you to prevent crashes so you aren't included in their statistics. 

Both the Missouri State and Kansas Highway Patrols released numbers from 2017 to highlight how dangerous the roads can be. Around Independence Day in 2017, 7 people died in crashes in Kansas. 26 died in crashes in Missouri. More than 600 people were injured in both states combined. Troopers in Missouri arrested 172 people for driving under the influence. 

This year, troopers in both states will be targeting dangerous drivers on the roads through a program designed to prevent crashes called the Combined Accident Reduction Effort.

It says the safest things you can do as a driver is to put down your phone, buckle your seat belt, focus on the road, and designate a driver if you'll be drinking alcohol. 

AAA estimates more than 40 million Americans will drive more than 50 miles to celebrate the holiday this year; which is a record high number.