It was a busy Fourth of July weekend for area law enforcement officers.
Here is a break-down from July 1-4 for the State Patrol-Brainerd District, which covers the counties of Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Hubbard, Cass, Aitkin and Morrison.
-- 34 vehicle accidents. Two accidents were fatalities, 12 were personal injury accidents and 20 were property damage accidents.
-- 11 driving while intoxicated arrests.
-- 286 citations for speeding; 234 warnings issued for excessive speed.
-- 51 safety belt citations and 83 safety belt warnings.
-- 102 motorist assists for such things as stranded vehicles, empty gas tanks and flat tires.
Captain Joe Schueller of the Brainerd State Patrol office said the numbers reflect both an increase in vacationers to the area, as well as an increase in traffic during the holiday.
"There are a lot of local residents in the lakes area in the summertime," Schueller said. "We were busy, and there's still a lot of traffic out there."
The highways weren't the only area busy with traffic. Neal Gaalswyk, Crow Wing County boat and water safety supervisor, said his department issued about 75 written warnings and 40 citations for water violations.
Five of the citations were for underage drinking, Gaalswyk said, the youngest being 14.
"They were on a boat thinking that it was a good place to get away with (underage drinking)," he said. "They were wrong."
Three people were cited for boating while intoxicated, all on the Whitefish Chain. Gaalswyk said one of the BWI offenders had a blood alcohol level of .20, twice the legal limit. This particular person was on a watercraft, Gaalswyk said, and drove up to deputies -- who had stopped another personal watercraft -- drinking from a thermos full of Bacardi Rum.
"(The deputies) waved him over and he came driving up," Gaalswyk added. "It makes it easier when the drunks come to us."
There were various other citations issued for no life jackets and driving a boat over capacity. One person was cited for riding on a personal watercraft backward.
Though there were no drownings over the Fourth of July holiday, there was a near drowning on Miller Lake, near Trommald.
Four-year-old Mark Voss, from Rogers, had gotten away from his parents, Frederick and Katherine, who found him in the water, not breathing.
Katherine, a respiratory therapist, started CPR and was assisted by a neighbor. They were able to revive the child, who was taken to Crosby and then to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. Gaalswyk called the hospital Wednesday and said Mark was doing fine.
"We got through (the Fourth of July holiday) with no drownings, no personal injuries and no deaths (on the water)," he said, "so we consider it a successful weekend."
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