Holiday crashes statewide claim five lives

By MPH Press Release

Here is the overall activity for the Mississippi Highway Patrol during the Labor Day Enforcement Period:

State wide – 2,705 citations issued

99 DUI arrest

206 Crashes investigated—this was nearly double from last year’s accidents, partially because of the rain (there were 115 crashes in 2010)

4 Alcohol related crashes

There were 5 fatalities across the state, a brief summary:

Saturday, September 3rd:

Troop E/Panola County— The Mississippi Highway Patrol continues to investigate a head-on collision that occurred on MS 6, in Panola County, near Dummyline Road. Troopers responded to the crash scene at approximately 9:30pm, Saturday night. Upon arriving it appears Charles Raymond, 34, of Crowder, was traveling east in a 1999 Ford Ranger Pick-up when he apparently crossed over into the west bound lanes and collided head on into a 2010 Chevrolet Impala, driven by Brandi Thompson, 18, of Batesville.

Raymond received fatal injuries from the crash. A passenger in Raymond’s vehicle was airlifted to the MED in Memphis with life threating injuries.

Thompson was also airlifted to the MED in Memphis with life threating injuries.

Sunday, September 4th:

Troop G/Calhoun County— At approximately 2:00am, Troopers responded to a one car accident on MS 341, approximately 8 miles south of Vardaman. Upon arriving it appeared Melvin Sartin, 41, of Houlka, was traveling west in a 1993 Ford Escort, when he apparently lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

Sartin was pronounced dead on the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

Troop H/Lauderdale County—A one car crash near Meridian claimed the life of an Arizona resident. State Troopers responded to the scene at approximately 9:45pm, near mile marker 29 on Interstate 20. It appears Joel Hocker, 24, of Sierra Vista, AZ, was traveling east bound in a 1994 Toyota Celica when he apparently ran off the interstate and struck a tree.

He received fatal injuries from the crash.

Monday, September 5th:

Troop C/Warren County—An early morning crash on Interstate 20 claimed the life of a Vicksburg resident. Troopers were dispatched to the accident scene, located ½ mile west of Bovina, at approximately 1:00a. Upon arriving it appeared Willie L Williams, 57, of Vicksburg, was traveling west on I-20, driving a 1993 Jeep Laredo, when he apparently ran off the road and struck a tree.

Williams received fatal injuries from the crash. A passenger in Williams’s vehicle was transported to a local hospital with life threating injuries.

Troop G/Monroe County— State Troopers continue to investigate a two-vehicle crash that occurred in Monroe County at the intersection of Hamilton Road and US 45. Troopers were called to the crash scene at approximately 5:30pm. Upon arriving it appeared Jessica Gurley, 20, of Hamilton, was operating a 2008 Ford Fusion when her vehicle collided with a 2001 Chevrolet driven by Kelly Hollowell, 36, of Steens.

Gurley was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Columbus where she died from injuries sustained during the accident. She was not wearing a seatbelt.

Hollowell and two passengers in her vehicle were also transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital with serious but not life threating injuries.

All fatal accidents remain under investigation.
Last year there were 3 fatalities on the Highways that were reported during the Labor Day Holiday.

This statement was composed by Trooper Ray Hall and Trooper Brian Mobley.