Six reported fatalities over holiday weekend

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Mississippi Highway Patrol concluded its 2016 Fourth of July enforcement period, which began Friday at 6 p.m. and ended Monday at midnight.

Throughout the period, MHP issued 7,877 citations with 182 DUI arrests. A total of 131 crashes were investigated including six fatalities and 75 injuries on state, federal highways and interstate systems. A total of 444 seatbelt citations were issued along with 71 child restraint violations.

All available troopers were utilized statewide during the period conducting saturation patrols and safety checkpoints.

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In Troop E, that covers several counties including Lafayette, Quitman and Panola, reported two fatalities over the holiday weekend. Troopers from Troop E made 84 arrests including eight for DUI and issued 97 citations, including 12 for no seat belt.

One of the two fatalities in the Troop E area took place at 5:01 a.m. Monday in Quitman County. A 2013 Chevrolet passenger vehicle driven by Russell W. Cox, 23, of Crowder, was traveling southbound on MS3 when the vehicle left the roadway and overturned. The driver was pronounced dead on scene due to injuries sustained in crash.

At 11:39 p.m. Monday, another single-vehicle crash claimed the life of Walter L. Leaks, 70, of Crenshaw who was traveling southbound on MS3 when his vehicle left the road and came to rest in a ditch on the west side of MS3. He was pronounced dead on scene.

Other fatalities included: a pedestrian walking across MS44 in Pike County who was truck by oncoming traffic; a two-vehicle wreck in Lauderdale County where Willie R. King, 77, was killed on MS145; a single-vehicle wreck in Lauderdale County on MS19 where Colton K. McConnell, 26, was killed when his vehicle left the road and overturned; a two-vehicle wreck in Neshoba County where Darrel J. Hatmaker was pronounced dead on scene.