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Gulfport teen dies from chain-reaction crash that killed her dad, little sister


A chain-reaction crash on U.S. 49 has claimed a third life.

A Gulfport father and his 13-year-old daughter died Wednesday afternoon in the six-car pile-up.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said Concepcion Matute, 52, the driver of a 2015 Nissan Versa Note, died from blunt force trauma.

Rosalinda Matute of New Orleans was in the backseat of her dad’s car, Hargrove said.

On Thursday, Matute’s 16-year-old daughter, Julisa Matute, died at the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile, Hargrove said.

Julisa, who lived in Gulfport, was a student at Harrison Central High School. All three had been wearing their seatbelts, Hargrove said.

“Rosalinda had come down to Gulfport to spend some time with her father during the Mardi Gras holidays,” Hargrove said.

Officials said Matute’s car, which was stopped at the traffic light at Mississippi 53, was the first to be hit in the chain-reaction crash. A Buick Enclave SUV rear-ended it about 4:30 Wednesday. The wreck closed the southbound lanes of U.S. 49 for about two hours.

“The accident was caused by a rear-end collision and it started a domino effect,” Mississippi Highway Patrol MSgt. Benjamin Seibert said.

The crash injured two others, a 6-year-old boy and an 80-year-old man. They were taken to Garden Park Medical Center, and were expected to fully recover.

The accident remains under investigation.

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