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Grant County suffers eighth traffic fatality
Latest death pushes fatalities to highest in five years
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    Grant County had its eighth traffic fatality over the weekend, surpassing the total number of deaths from 2015 with nearly half of the year left to go.
    On July 2 at approximately 4:12 a.m., the Grant County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a one-vehicle accident along Ready Hollow Road, near Gifford Lane in Wyalusing Township.
    Upon further investigation, it was determined that Erasmo Gonzalez, 28, Bagley, was southbound on Ready Hollow Road in his car, failed to negotiate a turn and left the roadway on the south side.
    After leaving the roadway, the Gonzalez vehicle turned sideways down a steep embankment, going airborne, and striking two trees with the roof of the vehicle before coming to rest on its wheels in the ditch.
    Erasmo was pronounced dead at the scene. West Grant EMS, Bloomington Fire and JAWS Unit, Bagley First Responders, and B+M Towing assisted at the scene.
    The accident remains under investigation.
    Since 2011, Grant County has suffered an average of six traffic fatalities a year. In 2015, there were seven deaths related to accidents, while in 2014 there was only five. The lowest number of death on the roads in the county was four in 2012.
    Statewide, the number of fatalities is slightly above the six-year average. As of Tuesday, there was 282 fatal accidents statewide, while the average during the past five years has been 584.
    Asked about the uptick of the fatal accidents in the county, Sheriff Nate Dreckman did not have a specific cause. “They all have had different circumstances and causes of the crashes and in various parts of the county,” Dreckman said, noting that the trend has been unpredictable.
  “I’d like to say there is something different we could do to help prevent further fatal crashes, but with the crashes all being different, we can only offer the advice of slow down, buckle up, don’t drink and drive and avoid distracted driving at all cost or it could cost you all,” Dreckman offered