Gautier The westbound lanes of Interstate 10 in Gautier reopened about 1 p.m. Wednesday after a several-hour shutdown stemming from a four-vehicle crash that claimed four lives.
The crashes happened Wednesday morning at the 63-mile marker just past the 4-mile-long bridge over the Pascagoula River.
Names of those killed were being withheld pending notification of families.
Details of the crash were not available, though Mississippi High Highway Patrol spokesman Chase Elkins confirmed the crash involved two 18-wheelers, an a Ford Expedition SUV behind them and a red pickup truck that ran into the woods.
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The four who died were in the SUV, Elkins said.
As the vehicles came to rest, one of the 18-wheelers was stretched across two lanes. The SUV appeared to be smashed against the cab of that 18-wheeler and had heavy damage at its front and rear ends. The pickup, a Nissan, was barely visible in the woodline. Parts of vehicles were strewn across the highway.
A fifth vehicle, a pickup truck pulling a camper, was forced to veer into the grassy median to avoid the wreckage but its driver and passenger were not injured.
An hour or so after the crash, Jackson County Emergency Services Director Earl Etheridge and Acadian Ambulance supervisor Frank Duke were injured in a second collision about a mile from the first crash site.
MHP began diverting traffic at Exit 68 south onto Mississippi 613 as early as 9:30 a.m. Westbound traffic was at a standstill for several hours.
MHP is investigating the deadly crash. The Gautier Police Department is investigating the second crash.
Sun Herald staff writer Karen Nelson contributed to this report.