Saturday, January 28, 2023

MHP Responds to Seven Fatal Wrecks on MS Highways Over Christmas Weekend

Seven people died on Mississippi highways during the Christmas weekend, according to the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

The Christmas Holiday Travel Enforcement Period began Friday at 6 a.m. and ended at midnight on Monday.

Troopers issued 5,294 citations, made 80 arrests for impaired driving, and investigated 160 crashes resulting in 36 injuries with seven fatal crashes and seven deaths. The deadly crashes occurred in Jones, Sunflower, Jefferson, Attala, Clark, Marion and Pearl River counties.

There were no reported fatal wrecks reported in Lafayette County.

Troopers in Troop E, which include Lafayette County and other surrounding counties, issued 214 citations, made three arrests for DUI and investigated 18 wrecks with no fatalities.

Jones County

On Friday, Dec. 23, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to a fatal crash on Highway 11 in Jones County. A 2005 Ford F150 driven by 51-year-old Joe Clayton of Hattiesburg, was traveling south on Highway 11 when the vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree. Joe Clayton received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Sunflower County

On Friday, Dec. 23 at approximately 4:44 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to a fatal crash on Highway US 49W in Sunflower County. A 1997 Toyota Camry driven by 38-year-old Christopher Harris of Indianola, was traveling south on Highway US 49W when the vehicle left the highway and overturned. Christopher Harris received fatal injuries from the crash.

Jefferson County

On Saturday, Dec. 24, at approximately 7:48 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to a fatal crash on Highway 28 in Jefferson County. A 2007 Mitsubishi Pickup driven by Dennis Crump, 38, of Hazlehurst, was traveling west on Highway 28 when it left the roadway and collided with a tree. Dennis Crump received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Attala County

On Sunday, Dec. 25, at approximately 3:42 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to a fatal crash on Highway 35 in Attala County. A 2007 Chevrolet HHR driven by 23-year-old John Gwatlney of Kosciusko, was traveling north on Highway 35 when the vehicle left the road and overturned. John Gwaltney received fatal injuries from the crash.

Clark County

On Sunday, Dec. 25, at approximately 9:31 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to a fatal crash on Highway 11 in Clarke County involving a pedestrian. A 2010 Nissan Maxima driven by 18-year-old Jalen Nixon of Vossburg, traveled north on Highway 11 when the vehicle collided with 42-year-old Wilt Alford of Pachuta walking north on Highway 11. Alford received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Marion County

On Monday, Dec. 26, at approximately 3:15 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to a fatal crash on Highway 586 in Marion County. A 2019 Chevrolet Colorado driven by 63-year-old Charles Bass of Columbia, traveled west on Highway 586 when the vehicle left the roadway, striking a light pole and overturned. Charles Bass received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Pearl River County

On Monday, Dec. 26, at approximately 9:04 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to a fatal crash on Highway 11 in Pearl River County. A 2008 Toyota Tundra driven by William T. Jones, 37, of Picayune, was traveling north on Highway 11. The vehicle left the roadway and overturned. William Jones received fatal injuries from the crash.

The crashes remain under investigation by the MHP.

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2022 Christmas Holiday Enforcement Totals

Citations – 5,294

Seatbelt and Child Restraint –472

DUI’s – 80

Crashes – 160

Fatal Crashes – 7

Fatalities – 7

Motorist Assist – 218


Staff report

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