Smith County Ranks High in Deadly Auto Wrecks

Trooper Jonathan Peters is no stranger to car wrecks. Everyday he patrols a county that's becoming famous for having them.

Smith County troopers have cleared 13 fatal wrecks since January, placing them in second place for highest number of fatality car wrecks statewide -- ahead of Dallas and Harris counties. Smith also ranked fourth last year for having 2,069 wrecks, about 200 more than Dallas. And if you thought rural roads were safer, state troopers say think again.

"I don't like traveling these back roads unless it's necessary," says DPS Trooper Jonathan Peters.

"If you've never been on one certain road, you don't know which way the road is going. Is it going to continue straight, or turn left or right?"

DPS records from 2002, show about half of Smith Counties accidents were caused by people speeding.