Traffic deaths spike in Mower, state in 2012

Published 10:23 am Thursday, June 20, 2013

By Matt Peterson and the Associated Press

Mower County traffic deaths increased in 2012, which followed overall patterns around the state last year.

The final crash report by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety shows Mower County had six traffic deaths in 2012, up from three in 2011 and three in 2010. This year’s county fatalities added to Minnesota’s total of 395 traffic deaths in 2012.

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The state total is a 7 percent increase from 2011, when 368 deaths were recorded. But officials say it represents a 40 percent drop in deaths from a decade ago.

Officials cite a mild winter, a slight increase in miles traveled and a jump in motorcyclist deaths in 2012 as reasons for the increase.

The 2012 fatality count is the second-lowest annual death figure since 1944, when 356 people were killed.