Motor vehicle deaths in Orange County have risen 23 percent between 2010, and more than half of all homicides countywide occurred in Anaheim or Santa Ana, according to a report released today by the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner's Office.
The report breaks down causes of death by age, region and manner. The last time a similar report was issued was a decade ago, Sheriff-Coroner's spokeswoman Gail Krause said.
"It's been 10 years since the last report. The plan is to do this annually," Krause said.
According to the report, 24 percent of accidental deaths involved motor vehicles.
Motor vehicle-related deaths have continued a steady uptick from 134 in 2010, 164 in 2011 and 174 last year, according to the report. Thirty-nine percent of accidental deaths were attributed to drug overdoses.
The coroner reported 63 homicides in 2012, with 62 percent involving gunshots; 81 percent of those pulling the trigger were male.
Thirty-two percent of homicides were in Anaheim, and 21 percent were in Santa Ana.
The most popular way to commit suicide was by gunshot, 35 percent, followed by asphyxia, 28 percent. There were 298 suicides last year. Most of the residents committing suicide were 40-50, and 77 percent were men.
The second highest rate of suicide was in the 20-29 age range.
Eight people killed themselves by jumping in front of a train last year.
Compared to 2010, fewer people who killed themselves left a note. In 2010, 32 percent left a note, and last year 22 percent did.
Overall, 18,915 people died in Orange County last year, with 7,106, or 38 percent, reported to the coroner, a two percent hike over 2011. Of those, the coroner chose to investigate 5,093 of the, with 1,654, or 32 percent, requiring an autopsy.
In 84 percent of the cases, the cause of death was ruled natural, 10 percent were accidental, 4 percent were suicides, and one percent were homicides. One percent of the deaths remain undetermined.
Illegal drug overdose deaths have steadily dropped since 1999, but more people are dying from prescription overdoses compared to 13 years.
In 1999, 129 people died in the county because of illicit drugs, compared with 65 last year, a 50 percent drop.
In 1999, 21 people died from a mix of illicit and prescription drugs, compared with 77 last year, a 267 percent increase. Also in 1999, 88 died from an overdose of prescription drugs, compared with 188 last year, a 114 percent jump.Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Sign up for the daily email with links to the latest local news.