State Highway Accidents Claimed 37 Lives in Lane County Last Year

Article excerpt

Byline: COUNTY BEAT By Randi Bjornstad The Register-Guard

Last year, 445 people died in traffic accidents throughout the state, 37 of them in Lane County, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

In Lane County, four people died from January through March, followed by eight in the second quarter of the year, 12 from July through September and 13 in the last three months of 2004.

In neighboring Douglas County, 30 people died in vehicle accidents last year, compared with five in Benton County, 17 in Linn County, 43 in Jackson County and 47 in Multnomah County.

ODOT says the total number of highway deaths in the state represented a drop of 13 percent from 2003. Fatalities have lessened dramatically in the past five years, through a combination of increased seatbelt usage, more law enforcement, better emergency response and trauma care and public education, the state said.

Overall, about half of all traffic fatalities in the state can be traced to excessive speed, and a third involve substance use on the part of a driver.

Better services coming

to children and families

Children and families in the Cottage Grove area will get special attention for the next couple of years when it comes to parenting services, substance abuse, prevention or treatment; mental health services and family support; and advocacy programs.

That's because the county's Health & Human Services Department has been chosen one of four in the state to run demonstration projects aimed at identifying possible problems and heading them off before they become crises.

Several family-oriented social service programs will share in the $312,500 grant:

South Lane Relief Nursery will begin an "Accessing Success" program like the Eugene Relief Nursery's, providing peer support and treatment for parents with substance abuse problems and risk of child neglect or abuse. …