Spate of traffic deaths raises concerns in Pierce CountyA series of fatal traffic accidents this month in Pierce County has raised concerns among local officials, who say they have noticed a recent upsurge in traffic-related deaths and injuries.
A series of fatal traffic accidents this month in Pierce County has raised concerns among local officials, who say they have noticed a recent upsurge in traffic-related deaths and injuries.
Pierce County deputies have reported three traffic-related deaths in two weeks, bringing total traffic fatalities this year to seven. Last year, nine people were killed on Pierce County roads and highways.
"It's been a busy summer with accidents, fatalities, etc. with us," said Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove.
Two people were killed in separate one-vehicle accidents in Pierce County over the weekend.
Lyle Feenstra, 45, of Bay City was killed at 9 p.m. Friday when the vehicle he was driving on 170th Avenue in Isabella Township left the road and struck a tree. Emergency responders pronounced him dead at the scene.
Alex Skog, 22, of rural Ellsworth was pronounced dead at 5:20 a.m. Sunday after he was ejected from his vehicle on 370th Avenue in Salem Township. He was the lone occupant of the vehicle.
Both accidents remain under investigation, though Hove said she doubted whether deputies could determine what caused them.
"Whether they happened after they swerved to miss a deer or fell asleep, we don't know," she said.
The two fatalities came around a week after another man, Donald Opdahl, 65, of Minneota, Minn., died Oct. 9 after he and a female driver suffered severe injuries in a crash near the Ralston Purina plant in Hager City.
The driver, Janice Pedersen, 62, of Apple Valley, Minn., is being treated at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, where she has been upgraded to fair condition.