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The streets of Artesia were a veritable demolition derby over the course of the past 24 hours, as nine wrecks were reported.

The first of eight wrecks to occur Thursday was reported at 8:12 a.m. at 20th and Main streets, followed six minutes later by a second report at 20th and Grand Avenue.

Between 10:27 a.m. and 12:12 p.m., three more reports were logged in the 1000 block of West Missouri Avenue, the 800 block of West Main Street, and the intersection of South 10th Street and West Bullock Avenue.

At 1:18 p.m., Artesia Police Department officers were dispatched to an accident at Seventh and Main streets, at 4:03 p.m. to 13th and Main streets, and at 7:42 p.m. to the 1500 block of West Main.

Finally, at 7:59 a.m. today, a wreck was reported at South 13th and West Washington Avenue.

According to Cmdr. Lindell Smith of the APD, four of the wrecks were the result of significant traffic violations, including one stop-sign violation, one red-light violation, and two instances of improper backing – one into a police cruiser.

Particularly with the start of a new school year placing teen drivers – some new – on the roadways, motorists are urged to drive safely and obey the rules of the road.

“Citizens, please be careful,” Smith said. “We all need to get where we are going, but we all need to arrive in one piece and with our property still intact.”