3 fatal wrecks on MS highways during 4th holiday; none locally

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop E troopers worked 19 wrecks and arrested 24 people for driving under the influence during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Troop E troopers patrol Lafayette County’s highways, including Highways 7, 30, 9, 314 and 334.

Around the state, troopers investigated 183 wrecks with five being directly related to alcohol.

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There were no wrecks in Lafayette County during the enforcement period at 6 p.m. Friday and ended Tuesday at midnight; however, troopers investigated three fatal wrecks in other locations around the state.

On Sunday, Wilbert L. Demus, 56, of Bentonia was killed while traveling south on MS 433 in Yazoo County after colliding with a utility pole. On Monday, Michael D. Watson, 54, of Amory, died after his vehicle collided with a tree while traveling on MS-8 in Monroe County. On Tuesday, William D. Few, 31, was killed when his vehicle left the roadway and rolled over while traveling on I-55 in Grenada County.

Troopers investigated six fatal wrecks during the Fourth of July holiday in 2016.

The enforcement period began at 6 p.m. Friday and ended Tuesday at midnight. Statewide, troopers made 175 DUI arrests.

“MHP saw a huge reduction in seat belt citations throughout the period with 199 being issued,” said MHP spokesman John A. Poulos. “During the 2016 Fourth of July period 444 seat belt citations were issued. We attribute this to responsible decisions by motorists regarding the new seatbelt law and the MHP ‘In the Click’ safety campaign.”

Troop E troopers issued nine citations for no seat belt and two for child restraint infractions. There were no drug or felony arrests. Troopers issued a total of 72 citations in Troop E.