Crashes Costly to Agencies

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The investigation continues into several crashes on Interstate 59 that left traffic snarled for several hours.

While the damage done to law enforcement vehicles is being assessed, the driver of one of the 18 wheelers involved, Carson Knight of North Carolina, has been charged with several misdemeanor charges, which include driving under the influence.

The driver of another 18-wheeler involved in a separate accident at the location, two miles south of Meridian, has been charged with following too closely.

"If someone was injured, it would have been felony charges," said Sgt. Ronnie Carter of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

The initial accident happened around 12 noon when two vehicles left the roadway. Troopers responded, along with Metro Ambulance.

Around 1:30 p.m., the first 18-wheeler, a log truck, hit a trooper's car, knocking it into the ambulance. Other units were called out around 2:00 p.m. after another 18-wheeler, driven by Carson Knight, hit four law enforcement vehicles.

"Yesterday highlights the danger that every law enforcement officer undertakes," said Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie. "People just don't slow down when these lights are on and they need to take that into consideration."

Sollie says this is the second time in a year that one of his deputies has had to run from being hit by a car.

In all, 10 vehicles were involved in Wednesday's crashes. Three of them belonged to the Mississippi Highway Patrol.