Police on Delivering News of Fatal Crashes: ‘You Don’t Forget’
The holiday season always comes with an uptick in alcohol-related fatal crashes. While hearing of the loss of a loved one can be hard, it can also be devastating to those who have to deliver the news.
"There's nothing that will ever prepare you for that moment,” said Lieutenant Ronnie Roberts with the Charlottesville Police Department.
It’s a moment that a police officer will most likely experience at least once in his or her career and a moment that every person dreads: a knock on the door with news that a loved one has died in a car crash.
In 2012, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles, 229 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes while another nearly 6,000 were injured, and nearly 29,000 people were convicted of driving under the influence.
In each of those 229 deaths, an officer was responsible for telling the family.
"When the law enforcement officer having to make those notifications realizes the fact that somebody is not going to be there at that special moment for the dinner on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, going to mass or to worship during that particular time,” Robert said.
Police say it's something that never gets easier.
"You don't forget. You don't forget the family. You don't forget having to make that notification,” Robert said.
Charlottesville police say they want people to take advantage of other alternatives like taxis or the designated driver program.
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