MHP Troop M sees no fatalities over Thanksgiving

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M investigated 29 motor vehicle collisions during the Thanksgiving holiday.

One of the collisions was alcohol-related, said Troop M Public Affairs Officer Cpl. Craig James.

Three people suffered injuries in the crashes, Craig said, but he said he was thankful there were no fatalities.

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Officers with Troop M, which covers nine counties — Lincoln, Lawrence, Walthall, Pike, Franklin, Amite, Jefferson, Wilkinson and Adams — issued 413 citations over the four-day enforcement period. There were 252 hazardous violations and 124 non-hazardous, 21 seatbelt violations and five child restraint violations.

Troopers made seven DUI arrests and three drug arrests.

Statewide, MHP issued 5,922 citations, including 115 DUI arrests, 371 seatbelt citations and 53 child restraint citations. Troopers investigated 246 motor vehicle crashes, including 52 injuries and six fatalities.

MHP observed heavy traffic throughout the period and anticipates the number of motorists traveling to increase due to the upcoming December holiday period.



The following enforcement period fatalities are under investigation by MHP.

  • Friday, 3:53 a.m., Marion County — A 2005 Dodge Caravan driven by Dimple O. Rushing, 62, of Magnolia, was traveling eastbound on Hwy. 98. Anthony F. Barnes Sr., 55, of Columbia, was walking in the eastbound lane. The vehicle collided with Barnes, who received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on scene.
  • Friday, 7:16 a.m., Hancock County — A 2008 Nissan Titan driven by Rondelle A. Celestine, 37, of LaPlace, Louisiana, was traveling westbound on I-10. The vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree. Celestine received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on scene.
  • Friday, 3:18 p.m., Lauderdale County — A 2019 Nissan passenger vehicle driven by Terryina S. Donald, 37, of Avondale, Louisiana, attempted to merge into the eastbound lane from the shoulder of I-20. A Volvo tractor-trailer driven by Mohammad A. Laith, 48, of Tampa, Florida, was traveling eastbound on I-20 and collided with the rear of the passenger vehicle. Donald, 4-year-old Miraquel Donald of Avondale, and 29-year-old Jaynell Fultz of Las Vegas, Nevada, all received fatal injuries and were pronounced dead on scene.
  • Saturday, 2:29 p.m., Covington County — A 2005 Ford Explorer driven by Brandon R. Tatum, 33, of Mount Olive, was traveling northbound on Hwy. 49. The vehicle left the roadway and collided with a ditch, ejecting the driver. Tatum was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash.