MHP reports busy holiday

Published 7:11 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

With motorists across the state hitting the roads and celebrating the Fourth of July, Tuesday and Wednesday proved to be a busy couple days for Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers.

During MHP’s Fourth of July enforcement period which ran from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, they responded to 4,594 incidents statewide. The incidents included 41 DUIs, 61 collisions, two of which were deemed alcohol related, one fatal accident with two deaths, and 410 incidents where people weren’t wearing their seatbelts.

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The fatal accident occurred in Marion County when a car with four people inside ran off the roadway and overturned colliding with trees. Two passengers in the car died, including one at the scene, while the driver and the third passenger suffered moderate injuries.

The reported incidents saw a huge jump from last year when there were 2,217 citations issued during the Fourth of July period, but accidents were down from 102 last year to 61 this year.

“We attribute the increase in citations and the decrease in crashes to the addition of new troopers along with responsible decisions by motorists,” Capt. Johnny Poulos, MHP’s director of public affairs, said.

Of the 4,594 incidents statewide, 821 occurred in Troop C, which is a 10 county area including Warren, Hinds, Claiborne and Madison counties. Those included five DUIs, five collisions, one of which was deemed alcohol related, and one injury.

Troop C public affairs officer Cpl. Kervin Stewart said they had extra troopers out on the road, but DUIs stayed pretty consistent to the norm.

“For safety really it is something we always do. We try to (put more troopers on the road). If we can get them to work overtime detail, there will be more troopers on during the holiday period, as many people as we can,” Stewart said.