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4 killed on state roads over holiday

Though Mississippi Highway Patrol reported four people killed on state roads over the Labor Day weekend, none of those were in Lincoln County or the surrounding areas.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Labor Day enforcement period — Friday at 12:01 a.m. to Monday at midnight — MHP investigated four fatal collisions in Union, Clarke and Newton counties. All of the crashes occurred Friday.

Capt. Johnny Poulos, director of public affairs, said two people died when a driver went the wrong way on I-22 in Union County. That driver, 48-year-old Jerome Young of Nettleton, died. So did a second driver, 79-year-old Mervyn Epsman of Warrior, Alabama. Both died before they could be taken to a hospital.

Also, 64-year-old Dan Williams of Shubuta died in Clarke County while trying to cross U.S. 45. White’s pickup was hit by 33-year-old Austin White of West Point. Williams died at a hospital.

Finally, 38-year-old Lucas Arthur of Union died in Newton County when his car left Hwy. 489 and hit a tree, throwing him from the car.

Poulos said officers continue to investigate the crashes.

MHP issued 9,440 citations with 166 DUI arrests statewide. Troopers investigated 165 motor vehicle crashes, which included 54 injuries and the four fatalities.

Troop M, which is located in Brookhaven, issued a total of 757 citations, said Cpl. Brandon Fortenberry.

Troop M serves Lincoln, Lawrence, Walthall, Pike, Amite, Wilkinson, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin counties.

Of the citations Troop M served, 483 were hazard citations, which are usually moving violations such as speeding and careless driving, Fortenberry said. Non-hazard citations, such as driving with a suspended license and no insurance, accounted for 274 of the 757.

Troop M also reported 17 DUI arrests, seven drug arrests, 106 seatbelt citations and 20 child restraint citations. Troopers investigated nine collisions over the weekend.

Fortenberry noticed far less people texting while driving.

“Hopefully, they’re putting the distraction of a cell phone away,” he said.

The increase in citations can be contributed to extra troopers on the roads on Labor Day, he said.

Federal funding made it possible to pay for extra details in both the morning and evening shift, which was made up of off-duty troopers from Troop M.