Holiday Weekend Totals

Over the July 4 holiday, more than 8,000 citations and five deaths were reported on Mississippi highways. Troop "H" in Meridian reported no deaths and issued more than 1,000 citations in its nine county area.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol said locally there were also no alcohol related crashes. They attribute this to beefed-up patrols.

"We had targeted certain areas. You know, we had more men to target these areas and it paid off in that respect. So, the more men we've got, the more visibility we've got, the more we can slow the traffic down and remove the impaired and handle the calls we have and handle the enforcement," said Sgt. Ronnie Carter of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Troop H.

Five fatalities were reported on Mississippi roads patrolled by state troopers. Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain says troopers made 263 drunk driving arrests and issued 8,264 tickets statewide.

Strain said 181 accidents were reported during the holiday period that began at 6:00 p.m. Thursday and ended at midnight Sunday. In 2002, six people died on state highways and one person in a boating accident over the holiday.

There were 323 drunken driving arrests and 203 vehicle accidents during that period.

In the most recent accident, Andrew L. Cooper, of Belzoni, was killed Sunday in a two-car crash on U.S. 49 in Holmes County. Strain said the accident is still under investigation.

On Friday, Roger Smith of Memphis, Tennessee, died in a one-car accident on Mississippi 305 in Tate County, eight miles south of Independence.

On Thursday night, three people were killed in a wreck on Mississippi 32 in Chickasaw County involving an 18-wheeler and a car. The victims were identified as Tina M. Taylor of Mantee; her boyfriend's 14-year-old son, Andrew Lacey of Houston; and Lacey's 13-year-old friend Derrick Huffman of Houlka.

Meanwhile in Alabama, at least seven people died on state highways over the holiday period.

In Livingston, chief Ashley Welborne said more than 90 citations and warnings were issued and four drug arrests were made. Welborn said one of the drug arrests was a
27-year-old teacher from Ohio.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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