Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Trooper Dies in 1 of 3 Fatal Wrecks, No Local Deaths Reported Over Holiday Weekend

No fatal wrecks were reported in Lafayette County over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but the Mississippi Highway Patrol did respond to three fatal wrecks on state highways in other areas.

One of the crashes resulted in the death of MHP Trooper John Harris.

Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy said there were no fatalities on local county roads.

“Everybody made it home safe in Lafayette County,” he said Tuesday morning.

According to the MHP, during its Memorial Day Travel Enforcement Period — which ran from 12:01 a.m. Friday through midnight Monday — troopers issued 5,734 citations and made 160 arrests for DUI.

They investigated a total of 104 crashes, which included three fatalities.

The fatal wrecks occurred in Madison County, Newton County and Leake County.

In Troop E, which covers several counties in northwest Mississippi including Lafayette County, troopers issued 821 citations and made 33 DUI arrests. They investigated 17 wrecks that resulted in nine people suffering injuries.

The Oxford Police Department responded to 17 wrecks and made eight arrests for DUI, and the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department responded to two wrecks and made no DUI arrests.

Roadways were busy with vehicles. From May 27-31, AAA expected more than 37 million people to travel 50 miles or more from home. That was an increase of 60 percent from last year when only 23 million traveled, the lowest on record since AAA began recording in 2000. About 1.9 million people were expected to have traveled over the weekend in the Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee region.

Actual travel data from the weekend was not yet available through AAA on Tuesday.

Below is the information on the fatal wrecks being investigated by the MHP:

  • On Friday, May 28, at approximately 3:30 p.m., MHP responded to a fatal traffic crash on MS16 in Madison County. Trooper John Harris was struck by a vehicle and fatally injured while conducting a traffic stop.
  • On Friday, May 28 at approximately 6:14 p.m., the MHP responded to a fatal traffic crash on MS503 in Newton County. A 1999 Chevrolet passenger car driven by Shannon M. Davis, 32, of Hattiesburg was traveling northbound on MS503. The vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree, ejecting the driver. Davis received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene. 
  • On Friday, May 28 at approximately 11:54 p.m., MHP responded to a fatal traffic crash on MS429 in Leake County. A 1996 Ford pickup driven by Rogelio Garza, 38, of Falcon Heights, Texas was traveling northbound on MS429. The vehicle left the roadway and overturned, ejecting the driver. Garza received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene. 

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