Pair of wrecks leave several hurt, two dead

SUMMIT – A pair of traffic accident on Interstate 55 near Summit Sunday left two people dead and several others injured.

At 1:11 p.m., Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers responded to a motor vehicle collision on I-55 at Exit 20 at Summit involving a motorcycle.

A 2007 Toyota passenger vehicle, driven by Caitlyn M. Huff, 23, of McComb, was south bound on I-55, in the left traffic lane, troopers said.

Meanwhile, a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle, driven by Samuel J. Speer Jr., 57, of Lacombe, La., was attempting to merge onto I-55 southbound, according to troopers.

Speer appeared to have failed to yield to oncoming traffic as he merged across the right and into the left traffic lane in front of the Toyota, which collided with the rear of the motorcycle, troopers reported

The Harley was knocked into the cable in the median of I55.

The driver of the Toyota as well as a passenger, Tristen Huff, 2, also of McComb, were not injured in the collision. Caitlyn Huff was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision, while Tristen Huff was not restrained, troopers said.

Samuel Speer Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene. Speer was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, according to troopers.

A passenger on the motorcycle, Carrie R. Speer, 57, also of Lacombe, La., was transported to Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center with severe injuries. She was later airlifted to University Medical Center in Jackson, where she died at 4:55 p.m. Sunday, according to Pike County coroner Percy Pittman.

Troopers said Carrie Speer was also wearing a helmet.

Also on Sunday, a little to the north of the motorcycle accident, another wreck occurred on I-55 around 12:30 p.m.

The one-vehicle crash involved a GMC Yukon with an Arkansas license plate, which appeared to have veered off the left side of the road, crashing into a ravine, according to Summit volunteer firefighters.

Two people had to be cut out of the vehicle and were carried by ambulance to Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center, Summit firefighters said. The wreck victims’ names had not been released.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.