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MHP reports 4 fatal crashes over Independence Day enforcement period

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Photo courtesy of MHP

The Mississippi Highway Patrol has concluded its Independence Day Holiday Travel Period, reporting 6,476 citations issued across the state.

The annual enforcement period was longer than usual, considering the Fourth of July fell on a weekday this year. From Thursday at 6 a.m. to Sunday at midnight, state troopers were out in full force to ensure extra safety, according to Capt. Chriss Turnipseed.

“We kinda predicted that everybody was going to make an extra long weekend out of it,” Turnipseed said on Friday as he explained the motive behind heightening law enforcement presence for an extended period.

Of the 6,474 citations, 876 motorists were cited for occupant restraint violations – or not wearing a seatbelt. The MHP made 149 DUI arrests while investigating 141 crashes that resulted in 45 injuries and four deaths. The fatal crashes occurred in Pearl River, Scott, Sunflower, and Pike counties.

The following information was provided by Turnipseed, who noted that each crash is still under investigation.

FATAL CRASH, PEARL RIVER COUNTY, 7/4/2024

On Thursday, July 4, at approximately 11:39 p.m., the MHP responded to a fatal crash on Highway 13 in Pearl River County.

A 1994 Jeep Wrangler driven by 19-year-old Troy Hughes of Lumberton, traveled south on Highway 13 when it collided with a 2023 Toyota Camry driven by 23-year-old Jocelin Sanchez, of Tylertown, traveling north. Jocelin Sanchez received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

FATAL CRASH, SCOTT COUNTY, 7/5/2024

On Friday, July 5, at approximately 5:17 p.m., the MHP responded to a fatal crash on Interstate 20 in Scott County.

A 2002 Dodge Ram driven by 51-year-old Steve Epps of Jackson, was traveling east on Interstate 20 when the vehicle ran off the roadway into the median and collided with a tree. Epps received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

FATAL CRASH, SUNFLOWER COUNTY, 7/5/24

On Friday, July 5, at approximately 7:37 p.m., the MHP responded to a single- vehicle fatal crash on Highway 3 in Sunflower County.

A 2002 Ford CVR driven by 40-year-old Kenneth Willies of Memphis, Tennessee, was traveling north on Highway 3 when it collided with a ditch and overturned. Willies received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

FATAL CRASH, PIKE COUNTY, 7/6/2024

On Saturday, July 6, at approximately 5:34 p.m., the MHP responded to a fatal crash on Highway 51 in Pike County.

A 2018 Jeep Wrangler driven by 40-year-old Dustin Denton of Tylertown, traveled north on Highway 51 when it left the roadway, collided with a tree, and overturned. Dustin Denton received fatal injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene.

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