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MHP sees 3 fatalities on New Year’s Eve

Over the New Year’s holiday enforcement period, the Mississippi Highway Patrol investigated 81 motor vehicle crashes that included 23 injuries and three fatalities on state roads, federal highways and interstates.

MHP also issued 3,526 citations with 79 DUI arrests during the two-day period, which began Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. and ended Wednesday at midnight, said Capt. Johnny Poulos with the MHP.

All three fatalities occurred Tuesday.

At about 1:35 a.m., MHP responded to a fatal crash on Hwy. 589 in Lamar County. A Nissan Sentra driven by Blake H. Breazeale, 24, of Petal, was traveling northbound on Hwy. 589. The vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree.

Brezeale was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries. A passenger, Kimberly R. Sumrall, 28, also of Hattiesburg, received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

At approximately 1:31 p.m., MHP responded to a fatal crash on on I-22 in Marshall County.

A 2016 Kenworth driven by Ryan J. Thomas, 44, of Gay, Georgia, was traveling eastbound on I-22. A 2013 Toyota Prius driven by Matthew Zent, 31, of Millington, Tennessee, was traveling eastbound on I-22 and collided with the truck. Zent received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A few hours later, at approximately 6:02 p.m., MHP responded to a fatal crash on Hwy. 11 in Jasper County.

A 1991 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Christopher S. Tanner, 42, of Quitman, was traveling southbound on Hwy. 11. The vehicle left the roadway and collided with tree. Tanner received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Troop M, which is located in Brookhaven, issued a total of 376 citations, Poulos said.

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

Of the citations Troop M served, 89 were hazard citations, which are usually moving violations such as speeding and careless driving, Poulos said. Non-hazard citations, such as driving with a suspended license and no insurance, accounted for 78 of the 376.

Troop M also reported six DUI arrests, four drug arrests, 14 seatbelt citations and six child restraint citations. Troopers investigated eight collisions over the holiday, with seven injuries. One of the collisions was alcohol related, Poulos said.