39 crashes reported on South Mississippi highways on Labor Day, including 5 on I-10


Rain and wet highways were largely to blame for a series of crashes in South Mississippi on Monday, but a state trooper said traffic was moving smoothly on Labor Day night.

A total of 39 crashes were reported on highways in the six southern counties by about 7:30 p.m., but only four people were injured in those crashes, said Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Chase Elkins.

“We’ve had pretty much a busier week than a normal week because of the extra travelers on the road,” he said.

Four crashes were reported on I-10 within an hour around noon followed by traffic alerts from the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Within a 20-minute period in Jackson County, collisions were reported at Exit 68 eastbound, Exit 69 westbound and Exit 75 westbound.

Other wrecks were reported at I-10 and U.S. 49 in Gulfport about noon, and at Exit 2 in Hancock County about 12:30 p.m.

Mid-afternoon crashes were reported in an eastbound lane just past Gautier Exit 61 and another was in eastbound lanes just before Mississippi 605/Cowan Lorraine Road.

State troopers and police and sheriff’s departments beefed up their ranks to enforce traffic laws as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign through midnight. In addition to putting extra patrol officers on the road, they planned safety checkpoints at random locations.

“We’re prepared to enforce the laws to help avoid crashes,” Elkins said.

Kate Magandy, digital editor, contributed to this report.