New year off to a relatively safe start

Kingman and Mohave County survived into the next millennium - depending on one's point of view of when the millennium started - without serious traffic accidents or structure fires.

The new year, 2001, dawned over northwestern Arizona fairly quietly.

Only a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 40 about 45 miles east of Kingman Sunday night injuring a motorcyclist marred the new year so far.

Christopher Thomas, 38, of Irvine, Calif., was taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center with unknown injuries.

He was listed in stable condition Monday afternoon, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt.

Annette Reyes.

Additional Kingman police officers were out in force over the weekend patrolling for drunken drivers, mainly on the New Year's Eve.

Kingman police broke up several loud parties but there were no major incidents, KPD Sgt.

Wes Bauer said.

"Overall it was a typical weekend, believe it or not," Bauer said.

Bauer said several complaints of shots being fired only turned out to be firecrackers being set off as the new year approached.

Bauer did say over the holidays there were a greater number of reports of domestic violence assaults, which lead to several misdemeanor arrests.

Bauer estimated that 30-40 domestic violence incidents occurred over the past week, five or six on New Year's Eve alone.

That is about double the number that occurs during a normal week.

Bauer blames alcohol as the leading cause of domestic violence.

"If it wasn't for alcohol, they probably wouldn't need us," he said.

DPS officers were also out in force over the New Year's weekend patrolling Interstate 40 through Kingman and Highways 93, 95 and 68 with an extra squad of officers, DPS Sgt.

Ron DeLong said.

DPS officers were focusing their patrols mainly between 4 p.m.

and 2 a.m.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Because New Year's Eve fell on Sunday night, many revelers started partying Friday night, DeLong said.

Unlike last New Year's Eve, Kingman fire department only responded to a handful of medical calls.

The department did not have extra personnel on staff Sunday night.

"We didn't foresee any major problems," KFD Capt.

Greg Duncan said.