State highways deadly over Fourth of July weekend

Most collisions occurred in South Mississippi

rfitzgerald@sunherald.comJuly 7, 2014 

BILOXI -- Mississippi had its deadliest Fourth of July weekend in two years, with seven lives lost in fatal crashes on state highways.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol has reported it worked 120 crashes statewide from 6 p.m. Thursday through midnight Sunday. A total of 58 people were injured.

In comparison, four people died around the state over the same holiday period last year. None of those were in southernmost Mississippi.

Two traffic deaths occurred in South Mississippi over the weekend. One of them is not included in MHP's traffic count because it occurred in another law enforcement agency's jurisdiction.

Mylinda Beech, 45, of Gulfport, died in a one-vehicle crash Saturday night on Old Highway 49 in McHenry. The Stone County Sheriff's Office reported her son, Brandon Beech, 22, was speeding and when the 1997 Volkswagen Jetta he was driving ran off the road at a sharp curve. The Jetta struck a tree on the passenger side of the vehicle.

MHP investigated the crash of Eula T. Busby, 74, who died Friday night after she lost control of a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier. MHP Lt. Johnny Poulos said the car flipped on Interstate 10 near Mississippi 57 in Jackson County.

He said Busby was wearing a seat belt, but most of the others killed in crashes were not. One of the fatalities involved a woman whose car had broken down and she was struck while walking on a roadside.

It had been four years since a life was lost on state highways in Troop K over the Fourth of July weekend.

Troop K, the MHP district that patrols the six southernmost counties, worked 25 collisions, the highest number among nine troops. Troop K operates out of Biloxi. Troop E, headquartered in Batesville, worked 24 crashes. In other districts, MHP worked 12 or less crashes.

Troopers statewide made 203 DUI arrests, including 16 in Troop K.

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