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Increase in Deaths, Wreck on MS Highways During Labor Day Weekend

By Alyssa Schnugg
Staff writer

Despite an increase in vehicle crashes and fatalities over this year’s Labor Day holiday weekend, no local fatalities were reported on Lafayette County roads.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol concluded its 2018 Labor Day enforcement period which began Friday at 12:01 a.m. and ended Monday at midnight.

Troopers in Troop E, that includes Lafayette County, made 12 arrests for DUI, issued 1,060 citations and investigated 16 wrecks; however, none where fatal.

The Oxford Police Department made seven arrests for DUI on local roads and investigated 27 wrecks during the weekend. The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department investigated two wrecks and made one arrest for DUI.

Throughout the period, MHP issued 9,440 citations with 166 DUI arrests statewide. Trooper investigated 65 crashes, which included 54 injuries and four fatalities on state, federal highways, and interstates.

A significant increase in traffic citations was recorded for the period compared to last year at 3,843.

“We attribute this to heavy traffic and the utilization of all available Troopers including the addition of new Troopers from Cadet Class 62,” said MHP spokesman Capt. John Poulos.

One of the fatal wrecks occurred in Union County on 1-22 at 10 a.m. Friday. Mervyn H. Epsman, 79, of Warrior, Alabama was traveling west on 1-22 when a vehicle driven by Jerome D. Young, 48, of Nettleton driving eastbound in the westbound lane collided head-on with Epsman. Both men died at the scene.

At 12:48 p.m. Friday, Austin N. White, 33, of Westpoint was traveling southbound on MS 45 in Clarke County. Dan H. Williams, 64, of Shubuta, was traveling eastbound on CR 261 and attempted to cross the highway. White’s vehicle collided with the left side of Williams’ pickup. Williams was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

At 3:51 p.m. Friday in Newton County, Lucas L. Arthur, 38, of Union was killed when his vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree. He was ejected and pronounced dead on the scene.

All the victims who died in the wrecks were not wearing their seat belt, according to MHP.


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