The stretch of roadway in question is on Interstate 20/59 between Russell and Toomsuba. In all, the area of concern encompasses about a 10 mile stretch of roadway traveling both east and westbound. Within the last three months there have been at least 17 accidents in this area. Many of those accidents occurred near the 162 mile marker.
"I think you have to keep in mind that there are two interstates running in this area," says Sergeant Ronnie Carter with the Mississippi Highway Patrol. "In that area you have Interstate 20 and Interstate 59. So, you're going to have a large amount of traffic."
However, there are some concerns that more than just heavy traffic is the problem. We talked with Gary McDill, who is a maintenance engineer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation. He told us that officials from his office have been contacted by the Russell Volunteer Fire Department about the number of accidents that have occurred in this area. He says MDOT officials have gone to the site but could not find anything wrong with the highway's surface. However, he says they are now analyzing accident reports from that area in hopes of finding clues on what's going on and what can be done to fix the problem.
Meanwhile, amid concerns about whether the road's surface is a factor in the accidents, highway patrol officials are offering motorists this advice.
"The driver has no control over the road surface but they need to be aware of the condition of the road. The things that the drivers can control, they need to use extreme caution and control those things," says Sergeant Carter.
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