New Year marred by 2 fatalities

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Two fatalities marked the New Year’s holiday on the roadwaysthis year, Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M officials said.

MHP Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Rusty Boyd said one of thefatalities was in Wilkinson County, where two cars collided head-onon Highway 24, and one was in Lincoln County where pedestrianCharlotte Hamilton was struck by a car on Interstate 55 just southof Exit 38.

“We absolutely hate to have any fatalities at any point in timebut it could always be worse,” he said. “You could always have moreand we’re grateful we didn’t.”

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For the New Year holiday, which MHP considered to be from 6 p.m.Friday, Dec. 28 to midnight of Tuesday, Jan. 1, there were fourfatalities in the state. The other two fatalities were in theterritory covered by MHP Troop E, which is based in Batesville.

Boyd said Troop M had the highest number of citations issued ofall the Troops in the state with 1,285, and also had 21 DUI arrestsover the break. Troop M only reported one alcohol-relatedcollision.

New Year’s is generally the time of year during which the mostDUIs are recorded, so there is added MHP presence on the roadduring those days, Boyd said.

“We had line patrols, and with the exception of one day, we hadfour a day,” he said. “We also had roadblocks and drivers licensecheckpoints every night, which is our normal procedure forholidays.”

There were 23 total collisions reported for Troop M, with nineinjuries during the holiday, and none were reported asalcohol-related.

Overall there were 8,946 citations issued in the state byHighway Patrol, with 160 DUIs statewide. Of 158 accidentsinvestigated over the holiday, there were nine statewidealcohol-related collisions and 160 DUI arrests.