South Mississippi led the state in highway crashes during the New Year’s holiday weekend, but none of those 21 wrecks were fatal, according to the Mississippi Highway Patrol. However, a Jefferson Davis County crash killed three people, and another man died in a single vehicle crash in Jasper County.
Two passengers in a Nissan Murano driven by Jerry B. Harper, 75, of Brookhaven died in a crash on U.S. 84 in Jefferson Davis County about 8 miles west of Prentiss. The driver of the second vehicle involved in the crash also was killed.
Harper was headed east on U.S. 84 at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday when Harney Walker, 27, of New Hebron, tried to turn the 2006 Ford Taurus he was driving off of U.S. 84 onto R.G. Rogers Road, according to Highway Patrol spokesman Capt. Johnny Poulos. The Murano hit the right passenger side of the Ford Taurus. Walker and Luna Harper, 74, a passenger in the Nissan Murano, were killed in the crash. Linda Evans, 74, a passenger in the Murano was taken to a local hospital where she died.
About two hours later, Bayron A. Gomez, 30, died when a 2008 Honda Civic driven by Nelson Sorto, 31, of Liburn, Georgia, left the southbound lanes of Interstate 59 and hit a tree in Jasper County. Officers haven’t been able to learn Gomez’s hometown.
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Both crashes remained under investigation Monday.
In South Mississippi, Troop K officers investigated 21 crashes and issued 66 tickets, including 3 for driving under the influence, according to the Highway Patrol.