Jasper Police Sgt. Jeremy Owens said during his career in law enforcement, he has never seen so many wrecks in such a short time span. He added that usually when there is a high number of wrecks on one day, weather is a factor. Driving conditions on Friday, however, were ideal since there was high visibility and no precipitation.
Three of the wrecks, which happened between noon and 2 p.m. Friday, were adjacent to Walmart. One wreck took place in the westbound lane near Murphy Express convenience store and another crash occurred near Bull’s Building Supply at the corner of Skyline Drive and Highway 118.
What made the wrecks challenging for the police department is that they coincided with the annual Walker High School homecoming parade through downtown Jasper, which required assistance by a majority of the officers on duty.
“All of my officers were at the parade,” said Owens, who added that just three officers were available to work the five wrecks.
Owens said he is not sure why there were so many wrecks during such a short window of time. However, he suspects some of the crashes may have involved “people flooding in for the parade.”
Owens added that a common cause of crashes that occur near Walmart involves drivers not being cautious enough when they pull out of the Walmart parking lot.
Fortunately, injuries occurred in just one of the wrecks. Owens said four people involved in a two-vehicle collision were taken to hospitals in Birmingham. The extent of the injuries were not known at press time.
During a homecoming parade in Cordova, police found themselves in similar circumstances as they were diverted by a wreck, several altercations and a person who was struck by a vehicle.
Cordova Police Chief Kenneth Bobo said a single-vehicle accident occurred on Highway 22 between the Industrial Boulevard exit and the first Cordova exit. After police responded to the wreck, which had no injuries, they responded to the person struck by a vehicle in downtown Cordova.
Bobo said road congestion caused by the parade played a part in the incident in which there were no injuries. “At the same time we had two fight calls we answered during the parade,” Bobo said. One arrest was made as a result of the altercations.
Fortunately, Bobo had requested that extra officers assist him during the parade that took place from 1-2 p.m.
“We stayed busy,” Bobo said about his workload on Friday.