Four die in Christmas holiday crashes

The Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) has reported that four people died in traffic accidents during the Christmas holiday period. None of the fatal crashes occurred in the Batesville Troop E district, which includes DeSoto County. 

During the period from Wednesday, Dec. 23-Sunday, Dec. 27 at midnight, Mississippi troopers issued 5,398 citations that included 130 arrests for driving under the influence.  

There were 201 motor vehicle crashes that included 38 injuries and the four fatalities. 

Early Christmas morning, Jeffrey A. Hunter, age 50 of Forest, died when his car left U.S. Highway 80 in Newton County. He was declared at the scene of the 2 a.m. crash.  

A bit later that morning, a head-on crash between a pickup truck and a Jeep SUV took place on state Highway 603 in Hancock County. Drivers Colton L. Northrup, age 20 of Pass Christian, and Jessica M. Hoyt, age 28 of Pulaski, Virginia, both died at the scene of the 3:45 a.m. crash.  

The other fatal crash over the holiday weekend took place late Sunday night on U.S. Highway 45 in Clarke County when a Ford Explorer driven by Robert C. Wright, age 28 of Foley, Alabama left the highway and overturned. A passenger in the vehicle, Cody D. Wright, age 21, was declared dead at the scene of the 11 p.m. collision.  

All crashes are currently under investigation by MHP.

In the Batesville Troop E district during the Christmas holiday, there were 480 citations issued that included 22 DUI citations. 

Troopers in Batesville Troop E handled 26 vehicle collisions which injured 13 people.  

The MHP safety initiative “Home for the Holidays” will continue through the end of the year in order to promote traffic safety.

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