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MHP issues more than 4,000 citations statewide during Christmas holiday

The Mississippi Highway Patrol concluded its Christmas enforcement period, which began Wednesday at 6 p.m. and ended Sunday at midnight.

Statewide, MHP issued 4,409 citations with 85 DUI arrests. It responded to 250 motor vehicle crashes, which included 81 injuries and five fatalities on state, federal highways and interstates.

In the Troop E area, which includes Lafayette County, troopers investigated 27 wrecks, which resulted in eight people being injured; however, there were no fatal wrecks reported in Lafayette County on state highways during the holiday weekend. Troopers issued 312 citations that included 11 DUIs.

Troopers said the severe weather systems that moved through Mississippi during the enforcement period played a significant role in the high number of traffic crashes investigated.

• The first crash was on Dec. 23 about 11:10 p.m. MHP responded to a single-vehicle crash on Highway 6 in Lee County.

A 2004 Chevrolet passenger car driven by Chaniqua Pierce, 19, from Booneville, was traveling westbound when the vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

• On Dec. 25 at 5:32 a.m., MHP responded to a crash on U.S. Highway 49 in Covington County involving a pedestrian.

Osmar Yovani Garcia Vasquez, 27, from Collins, was reported to be walking in the northbound lane and was struck by a vehicle traveling northbound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

• On Saturday at 6:43 p.m., MHP responded to a crash on U.S. Highway 82 in Leflore County involving two vehicles.

A 2002 Cadillac Seville driven by Linda Arant, 62, from Indianola, and occupied by passenger Joyce Hull, 91, also from Indianola, was traveling westbound on the highway. MHP said a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis driven by Jerry Ross, 53, from Picayune attempted to cross Highway 82 in order to reach County Road 515.

The Mercury Grand Marquis collided with the driver’s side of the Cadillac Seville. Both driver and passenger in the Cadillac Seville were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Mercury Grand Marquis was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.

• On Saturday at 6:54 p.m., MHP responded to a vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 72 in Alcorn County involving a pedestrian.

Anthony Tippen, 40, of Walnut, was struck by a vehicle traveling westbound on the highway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.