Fatality mars otherwise quiet holiday

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

A New Year’s Day fatality marred an otherwise routine holidayweekend, according to law enforcement officials.

Chris J. Turner, 35, of Yazoo City, was killed Monday around12:35 p.m. on Interstate 55 South near mile marker 46. His 1987Ford F150 lost its left rear tire and rim, veered off the road, andslid sideways into a tree, said Sgt. Rusty Boyd, public relationsofficer for Troop M of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol.

Turner was pronounced dead at the scene, said Lincoln CountyCoroner Clay McMorris.

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Turner’s son, Christopher J. Turner, 15, was transported byambulance to King’s Daughters Medical Center, where was treated forminor injuries and released, Boyd said.

The crash was witnessed by Turner’s brother, Terry Guillot, ofPatterson, La., who was following his brother to visit relatives inMorgan City, La., McMorris said.

Strickland and King Funeral Home of Yazoo City will be handlingthe arrangements, the coroner said.

The crash was the only incident to mar a holiday weekend with ahistory of parties and other boisterous activity, officialssaid.

“It probably received a number of calls that was below averagefor a New Year’s weekend,” said Brookhaven Police Chief PapHenderson. “We didn’t have the number of calls we normallyhave.”

Fireworks, which are illegal within the city limits, were thecause of the highest percentage of complaints received by thedepartment, the chief said. He estimated the department received 25calls about fireworks.

“Some of those came from in the county, though, and they’relegal there,” the chief said.

Approximately 15 to 20 of the fireworks complaints were valid,Henderson said, but did not result in any arrests.

“They only had one who actually had fireworks when the officergot there and we just warned him,” the chief said.

In a number of cases, Henderson said, fireworks were being setoff by children, who scattered as officers arrived. They did not,however, return to light off any more.

Law enforcement officials were impressed with the low percentageof cases of drunk drivers. Despite checkpoints and heavypatrolling, only three DUI arrests were made in Lincoln County fromFriday through Monday.

Two DUI arrests were made by MHP troopers and one by thesheriff’s department. There were no DUI arrests in the city.

“It was pretty quiet this weekend. There wasn’t much traffic onthe road,” said Sheriff Steve Rushing.

In all, the sheriff said, the department responded to 86 calls,including six vehicle crashes with no injuries.