Three people in the state killed over the holiday in traffic accidents

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Three people died in traffic accidents in the state during the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s Christmas holiday enforcement period.

During the time from Friday at 6 p.m. to Monday at 11:59 p.m., MHP issued 4,661 citations with 73 DUI arrests.

One hundred and forty-one motor vehicle crashes were investigated which included 59 injuries and three fatalities on state, federal highways and interstates.

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On Christmas Eve, the “Coast to the Capital” MHP safety initiative was held on US Hwy. 49 from Gulfport to Jackson.

“During this high visibility detail on the heavily traveled highway which began at 8 a.m. and concluded at 6 p.m., MHP recorded zero crashes during the time frame,” said MHP spokesman, Capt. Johnny Poulos.

MHP observed heavy traffic statewide throughout the holiday period but did see a dramatic decrease in 2016 Christmas holiday traffic crashes, with 141 versus 250 the year before.

Poulos said that could be attributed to the high visibility of all available troopers “and responsible decisions made by motorists throughout the period.”

The fatalities included two people killed in a single-vehicle crash on MS 371 in Lee County that occurred Saturday at 1 a.m. The vehicle appeared to have left the roadway and flipped several times. Two occupants were confirmed inside the vehicle, he said. Their names are being withheld pending notification.

Also on Saturday, at 4:51 p.m., Jay A. Williams, 51, of Southaven, was killed  when he was hit by a car traveling eastbound US 78 in Desoto County.

Williams was reported to be walking in the eastbound lane and was struck by a vehicle, Poulos said.

In Troop M, which includes Lincoln, Pike, Waltham, Lawrence, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Amite and Wilkinson counties, troopers issued 14 DUI citations, 26 seatbelt violations and three child restraint violations. They also made one drug arrest and one felony arrest.

Troopers investigated two collisions, but neither were alcohol related.