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Traffic fatalities rise in Blount County

(WBIR- Blount County) Traffic fatalities have spiked in Blount County since May, according to Blount County Sheriff's Office.

There have been 14 traffic deaths so far in 2014 with 10 of those happening since May, BCSO said.

David Harrington, Blounty County rescue squad assistant chief, said at least six of those deaths have occurred on the dragon, a section of US Highway 129. He said a more than half of the accidents have involved motorcycles.

The most recent traffic death in the county happened last Thursday on Calderwood Highway located north of the dragon, BCSO said. The man was from Indiana and not wearing a helmet.

"It's a lot of out -of-towners who are not exactly familiar with the roadway," Harrington said. "They may not be as experienced and taking a few more risks than they normally would."

Jimmy Bell has lived close to the dragon for the last 35 years. He said his brother had a wreck on the dragon.

"My brother was hurt the first year he got his bike," Bell said. "First thing he wanted to do was go to the dragon. First thing he did was laid it down."

Harrington said speeding is responsible for most of the deaths, and the warmer weather is contributing to more people being on the road.

Harrington said there were 13 deaths in Blount County at this time last year.

"We're encouraging people is to make sure they follow the rules of the road and always wear their helmets and slow down," Harrington said.

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