In 2005 there were seven fatal accidents in Grand Junction, this year, in eight days, there were five fatal accidents in the city. The summer months are among the most dangerous for motorists. And the five recent fatal accidents are proof.
On Monday, the 24th, 24–year–old Robert Mudge of Palisade was killed when his motorcycle slammed into the side of a pick–up truck. Then, just two days later, 19–year–old Anthony Cruz was killed when the car he was driving rolled over on North Avenue. The next day yet another deadly crash. 46–year–old Michael Nichols lost his life when his motorcycle collided with a car near Mesa Mall. Then on Sunday 22–year–old Grand Junction resident Nicholas Reynolds was killed when he swerved to miss a cow on I-70 and lost control of his car. Most recently, on Memorial Day, 41–year–old Diana Lee Moreno was killed when a stolen truck broadsided her at 7th Street and White Avenue.
According to Grand Junction City Transportation Engineer Jody Kliska, on average, the city sees about 1500 accidents a year. Divide that by 365 days and that's somewhere between four and five accidents a day, most of which just cause property damage. But Kliska says, "I went back 10 years and in 1996 we had 7 fatal accidents but then there were years we only had two, so it seems we're starting to creep back up."
And as that number creeps up so does the need for more blood. Brian White with St. Mary's Regional Blood Center says it's critical to have an adequate supply of blood throughout the year especially during the summer months when accidents are more prevalent. Brian says, "most of the patients that get into these accidents can't wait three days to get the blood, that's why we need an influx of donors every day, every month, every year." It takes about 45 minutes to donate blood and perhaps only seconds to get into an accident. But two things are for sure- a pint of blood and a seat belt could save a life.
St. Mary's Regional Blood Center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. No appointment is necessary.