There wasn’t an increase in deaths on state roads over the New Year’s holiday but the number of car crashes nearly doubled, according to statistics from the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
During the four-day holiday enforcement period, which began Thursday, Dec. 31, and ended Sunday, Jan. 3, MHP worked 158 motor vehicle crashes that included 27 injuries and three fatalities. In 2019, the two-day period saw three fatalities in 81 wrecks on state and federal highways, and interstates.
All three fatal accidents occurred in the south portion of the state in Jackson, Jefferson and Perry Counties. They remain under investigation by MHP officials.
Batesville-based Troop E, which covers 10 counties in northwest Mississippi, responded to 17 vehicle crashes that resulted in four injuries.
Locally, troopers issued 459 citations for a variety of violations, including 24 for motorists not wearing a seat belt and four for no child restraint.
Troop E also made 29 DUI and three drug arrests. Statewide, troopers issued 6,306 tickets. That figure included 184 DUI arrests, 279 for not wearing a seat belt and 84 child restraint citations.
The number of wrecks and associated injuries were divided fairly evenly among the nine highway patrol districts in Mississippi.