BEND, OR -- New data compiled by Oregon’s Department of Transportation shows a startling jump in fatal traffic crashes across the state. ODOT’s Peter Murphy tells KBND News that between December 8th, 2013 and December 8 of this year, there was a nearly 10% increase in the number of deaths and a 6.2% rise in the number of fatal crashes in Oregon. "There is usually no one cause of that. We actually did a study of Highway 97, and found there’s no one cause or one place where these crashes happen. And, if you look across the state, there’s not one reason. The only thing we can point a finger to, and it’s not necessarily conclusive, is that the number of fatal crashes is up, and the traffic volume is up by the same amount."
Murphy says the data shows the most common cause of fatal crashes in the past year was human error. This new data does not take into account a fatal accident on Highway 97 just north of La Pine, Monday.