By Brian Livingston / email@example.com
The Meridian Star
Five people lost their lives in Mississippi traffic accidents during the Christmas holiday period.
According to statistics released Thursday by Cpl. Andy West, public relations officer for Troop H in Meridian, one of those fatalities occurred in the troop's district.
"We had a man killed on Christmas day in a one vehicle accident," West said. "Given the severe weather we had on Christmas day, we believe this accident, and 16 others that occurred across the state, were weather related."
West said Milton Mitchell of Morton, the driver of the vehicle, died as a result of injuries he suffered when his car ran off the side of Highway 13 north of Morton. West said the car struck a tree. Three other people in the car, a woman sitting in the front passenger seat, and a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old child, were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, West said.
Other fatalities across the state were reported in the Jackson, Starkville, Hattiesburg and New Albany districts.
In total, West said there were 34 accidents in the Troop H district which covers nine counties. Statewide there were 211 accidents. West said there were 5,601 traffic citations written by troopers across the state and 111 drunk drivers were arrested.
The statistics covers the time period starting on Dec. 21 through Dec. 25.
West urged motorists to exercise common sense with the upcoming New Years holiday period. He said the highway patrol is still conducting its safety blitz, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.
"We will be asking troopers who normally are off during this time to come in and patrol the roadways," West said. "We want everyone to have a good time but we also want you to be smart and safe about it."
West said if you are going to a party, have a designated driver or arrange for a taxi to take you home. Do not drink and drive.