At least 3 dead as southern Miss. deals with icy roads

City of McComb workers shovel sand onto the Delaware Ave. overpass across I-55 on Friday. (AP Photo/The Enterprise-Journal, Daniel Lin)

City of McComb workers shovel sand onto the Delaware Ave. overpass across I-55 on Friday. (AP Photo/The Enterprise-Journal, Daniel Lin)

BILOXI (AP) – Major roads re-opened Saturday in southern Mississippi after a night of icy weather that saw close to 40 multicar accidents and three traffic deaths.

Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said 50-year-old Freddy Berrage, 33-year-old Danielle Moye and Moye’s son, 8-year-old Elijah Moye, were killed in the Friday night wreck.

Berrage was driving on an icy bridge spanning Boley Creek when he lost control of the car. Two other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Jason Gazzo said Saturday all major roads were open. Gazzo said his agency had investigated close to 40 overnight multicar accidents. Those included a pileup involving more than two dozen vehicles at the Louisiana-Mississippi line and more than a dozen on U.S. Highway 49 north of Gulfport.

Many drivers didn’t heed warnings to stay off the highways, Gazzo said. And many in south Mississippi are unaccustomed to driving in icy conditions, he added.

“Every bridge and overpass in south Mississippi was iced over,” Gazzo said.

Excessive speed was a factor in some of the accidents but in some cases, he added, conditions were so bad the accidents appeared to be unavoidable.

The state was getting a break from the freezing temperatures later in the day, but Gazzo said motorists should still be ready for cold conditions and have emergency essentials, including a charged cellphone, in the car if they have to be on the road.