Desoto County NewsUncategorized

Four people die in holiday vehicle crashes

Four people died in vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday, the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) reported Wednesday morning, July 5. The victims included a Sardis woman who died in a Panola County crash on Monday, July 3 

The accident took place close to 4 p.m., when a vehicle driven by Verda Taylor, age 63 of Sardis and traveling north on U.S. Highway 6 collided with a truck driven by Charles L. Johnson, age 55 of Enid. Johnson’s Peterbilt truck was traveling on State Highway 315 when the crash took place.  Taylor died of fatal injuries from the crash. Johnson was taken to a hospital with what was described as moderate injuries. 

Another fatal accident claimed the life of a Memphis man in Itawamba County. The Highway Patrol said Vernon Williams, age 67 of Memphis died when his vehicle left State Highway 371 and rolled several times. Williams was pronounced dead on arrival at a Tupelo hospital  

Two other fatal crashes took place during the holiday period from 6 a.m. Monday, July 3 to 12 midnight July 4, in Chickasaw and Marion counties. 

The four victims were three more than during the same holiday period in 2022. MHP issued a total of 4,458 citations, made 49 arrests for impaired driving, and cited 508 motorists for occupant restraint violations. 

In the Troop E-Batesville area that includes DeSoto County, there were six arrests for driving under the influence during the two-day period, one drug arrest and 74 seat belt violations. Troopers investigated 15 accidents, including the one fatality in Panola County. The accidents resulted in seven injuries.  

Here is the statewide breakdown comparing this year to last year:  

Independence Day Holiday Travel Enforcement Period Statistics (Overview) 

2023 Independence Day Holiday Enforcement Totals (2 Days) 

  • Citations – 4.458 
  • Seat belt and Child Restraint – 508 
  • DUI’s – 49 
  • Crashes – 76 
  • Fatal Crashes – 4 
  • Fatalities – 4 
  • Motorist Assist – 42 

2022 Independence Day Holiday Enforcement Totals (5 Days) 

  • Citations – 7,999 
  • Seat belt and Child Restraint – 860 
  • DUI’s – 168 
  • Crashes – 224 
  • Fatal Crashes – 1 
  • Fatalities –1 
  • Motorist Assist –141

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