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Danger on the Highway: Several Die, Several Injured Across the State, One Goes to Jail

Photo: Roberto Stanton, 32, charged with DUI manslaughter in the weekend death of William Carey student Michael Iler. Source: Forrest Co. Sheriff’s Dept.

PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss.–Watch what you’re doing while you drive, the message perhaps from a deadly weekend on Mississippi’s highways. At least five people died in three separate wrecks and at least eight others were hurt in another wreck.

The first deaths were Friday night in Pontotoc County on Hwy. 6, said Miss. Highway Patrol Spokesman Ray Hall. It happened when a pickup truck went the wrong way.

“The preliminary investigation indicates Margel Swann, 51, of New Albany, was driving a 1995 Isuzu pick-up east bound in the west bound lanes on MS 6 when his vehicle collided head-on into a 2004 Honda Accord, driven by Connie Malone, 43, of Thaxton.

“Swann was ejected from his vehicle and died on the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt. Connie Malone received fatal injuries during the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

“There were three passengers in Malone’s vehicle. Christopher Ensey, 43, of Baldwyn, also died on the scene from injuries received in the crash. Timothy Malone, 38, of Thaxton, was airlifted to NMMC in Tupelo with serious injuries. A 9-year-old child was taken by ambulance to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo with moderate injuries. All the occupants in Malone’s vehicle were wearing seat belts.”

A man in Covington County was also killed Friday night when his Volkswagen Jetta left Hwy. 49, south of Seminary, and hit a tree.

A head-on wreck in Hattiesburg killed William Carey University student Michael Iler, 21, and seriously injured his wife Sunday morning about 2:30. It was another instance of someone driving in the wrong land. This time the driver went to jail. Roberto Stanton, 32, was charged with DUI manslaughter and disfigurement.

The Hattiesburg Police Dept. is investigating the wreck. Lt. Jon Traxler said the wreck happened on Hwy. 49 when Stanton was driving drunk. He was going south in the northbound lanes.

A wreck near Bolton shut down part of Interstate 20 Saturday. The Highway Patrol said eight people were riding in a Mercury Mountaineer, when it flipped several times, throwing five of them out. All eight were taken to the hospital, three by helicopter. Those three were critical and two of them were teenagers, 16 and 13.

The driver told MHP that a tire blew out.

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