Fatality mars quiet holiday weekend

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A fatal accident and a heady drug bust marred what was otherwisea very quiet and safe Christmas weekend in and around LincolnCounty.

The holiday break’s only local fatality occurred Sunday around 5:15p.m. on Interstate 55 in Copiah County when a Louisiana woman waskilled in a single-car accident. Staff Sgt. Rusty Boyd, a publicaffairs officer with the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s Troop M inBrookhaven, said Kiwandra Lewis, 36, of Monroe, La., was killedwhen she was ejected from her vehicle in a rollover accident. Threeother passengers received serious injuries, he said.

Wesson Fire Department Chief Ken Carraway said Lewis died en routeto the hospital after crashing in the southbound lane just south ofExit 51 near Wesson.

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“The report was that she traveled in the right merge lane, cameinto traffic for about 100 yards and swerved left. Sheover-corrected and went off the road on the right-hand side,” hesaid.

Carraway said the accident forced one southbound lane to close, andthe traffic backup that was created may have caused a secondaccident that occurred nearby around 7 p.m. when four vehiclescollided together underneath the Exit 51 overpass. The secondaccident caused one serious injury and three minor injuries, hesaid.

Lewis’s death was one of only four fatal accidents statewide duringthe Christmas weekend, according to MHP statistics. Those numbersshow a reasonably calm four days for Troop M – which covers LincolnCounty and much of Southwest Mississippi – with a total of 623citations issued, mostly for traffic violations.

But Interstate 55 also yielded a felony drug arrest Sunday nightwhen a Texas woman was pinched by the Lincoln County Sheriff’sDepartment for traveling with around 16 pounds of marijuana.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said Adrianna Rojas, 30, ofsouth Houston, was arrested around 1 a.m. Monday morning andcharged with felony possession of marijuana with intent todistribute and careless driving. She remains in the Lincoln CountyJail.

“Deputy Matt Springfield made a traffic stop on her and during thecourse of the investigation his K-9 alerted to the car,” Rushingsaid. “He located the marijuana in a suitcase in the trunk.”

Other than that, the sheriff’s department was called out on routineduties only over the Christmas break, Rushing said.

“We were fortunate to have a nice weekend,” he said. “Christmasesusually are not quite as busy, but starting with New Year’s we’llpick up.”

Apparently the “bad guys” took a Christmas vacation, too. Weekendreports from the sheriff’s department and the Brookhaven PoliceDepartment show little activity – the incident report lists fromall four Christmas days are equal to one normal day in the year.There were only around 10 arrests throughout the span, and policeresponded mostly to routine calls for open doors, suspiciousvehicles and fireworks.

“I was very happy with the way the Christmas holidays went,” saidBrookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson. “We didn’t have any majoraccidents, and this town was full of people leading up toChristmas. It was extremely quiet.”