Lawmen Go Through Driver Safety Course

Every police officer in North Carolina has to go through at least 40 hours of day and night drivers training. That's because automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths in law enforcement.

Greene County Deputy David Jennings Dawson III is the second lawman in the state to die in a vehicle crash since the weekend. Early Saturday morning Winston-Salem Officer Russell Willingham was killed when he lost control of his patrol car, and crashed into trees. The officer was trapped in his vehicle and died at the scene.

The Officer Down Memorial Page says in North Carolina traffic accidents are the second leading cause of death for law enforcement officers, behind gunfire. Officers dying in vehicle pursuits are third. Since 2000 there have been 18 officers killed because of traffic accidents in the state.

That website says Dawson is the fifth lawmen killed in the state this year.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Aug 2, 2011 at 03:22 PM
    Jack how about the one on highway 7O east where the trooper slammed into the back of a van then lied about it.slip your memory?
  • by LEO on Aug 2, 2011 at 03:16 PM
    Maybe you all cant read all that great? It says all LEO have to take "Drivers Training"! It is part of the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course! I think everyone should have to take it every time they get their license renewed, it would get rid of a lot of the individuals that have no business on the road! RIP DEPUTY DAWSON PRAYERS TO THE FAMILY!!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 2, 2011 at 01:46 PM
    Given all of the recent crashes by LE employees in NC, it is something that seriously needs to be addressed. In the Marine Corps, there would be a stand down.
    • reply
      by jack on Aug 2, 2011 at 02:44 PM in reply to
      ALL the recent crashes? Really, name them, I can think of two. EXAGGERATE MUCH?
      • reply
        by Chevy Guy on Aug 2, 2011 at 03:36 PM in reply to jack
        Really? in the marines? we have stand downs for anything and everything, then again common sense does not apply. There has been two recently reported crashes with leo's. Quit bashing law enforcement.
  • by AES Location: Greenville on Aug 2, 2011 at 12:38 PM
    I read things like this after a young officer has given his life trying to protect the very people who are writing this s**t. People always criticize what they have no knowledge of! As officers you are never there fast enough for someone who calls and your always going to fast for everyone else, "at for those who don't know any better that is"! Officers depend on each other because they often feel like they have no one else to depend on when things go bad. You have a very small handful of people who are willing to do this thankless job, almost always out numbered. A young man has lost his life and his family has lost a son, trying to
    help YOU! the public and remarks like these are what they have to read. By the way before anyone remarks about your freedom of speech, our soilders are not the only ones fighting for that right so I am speaking for the ones who are unable to do so. Until you have walked in my shoes, DONT JUDGE ME! There is a time and place for everything, the day a family looses a child is NOT! The time,get over yourselves and have some consideration for the family!!!!!
    • reply
      by Jack on Aug 2, 2011 at 02:46 PM in reply to AES
      You are in Eastern North Carolina, destination of ignorant, mindless people. Your plea is likely to fall on deaf ears, but I do agree with you!
  • by LS Location: NB on Aug 2, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    How about maybe they didn't think they had the right to drive like out of hell bats?! Not a day goes by that I don't see a county deputy or state highway patrol officer flying up and down the roads with no lights on...just cause they have a badge doesn't give them the rights to break the laws set up for EVERYONE!
    • reply
      by Paramedic on Aug 2, 2011 at 12:02 PM in reply to LS
      Hey genius its obvious u dont know what you're talking about. I get so sick and tired of the ignorant public complaining that we constantly drive fast for no reason. There are many times when we drive fast with no lights/sirens bc 1) the situation we're responding too requires a certain level of aneminity and announcing it the the neighborhood would onyl cause furthur problems 2) responding quickly but with no lights is safer than doin so with lgihts/sirens bc people pull out,slam on brakes, follow us etc.
    • reply
      by To LS on Aug 2, 2011 at 12:39 PM in reply to LS
      When your house is getting robbed tonight and the officer drives the speed limit to get there......don't wonder why it took them so long...ok?
      • reply
        by AK-47 on Aug 2, 2011 at 01:43 PM in reply to To LS
        I don't call 911.
  • by NONE YA... Location: EASTERN NC on Aug 2, 2011 at 10:07 AM
    I BELIVE THAT IS A GREAT IDEA AND SHOULD BE DONE YEARLY.
    • reply
      by bs on Aug 2, 2011 at 02:14 PM in reply to NONE YA...
      not a bad idea but are you going to pay for the goodyears?
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