GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Saucier man is dead after being struck while trying to cross U.S. 49 early Thursday in Gulfport.
Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said 53-year-old Lloyd Simoneaux died from blunt force trauma around 5:20 this morning. The accident happened just north of Airport Road on Highway 49.
Between Airport and Creosote roads, Highway 49 is full of restaurants, hotels and traffic. Gulfport’s Kevin Mitchel is one of many pedestrians who must make the dangerous journey across this heavily-traveled area.
"About 99 percent of the time if you’re not walking, you’re having to run across,” Mitchel said. “And especially if it’s raining. Try to run across in that. It’s a good way to slip, slide and fall. A lot of people come across from the Plasma center here and come running across. Even though there’s a light right there, they’re still having problems. "
Mitchel said it’s tough enough during the day to cross six lanes of traffic; that’s why he doesn’t even attempt it at night.
"Oh no, I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t cross at night,” Mitchel said.
After a similar incident back in 2017, The Mississippi Department of Transportation, the City of Gulfport and Mississippi Power had LED lighting put up on that stretch of Highway 49 for better visibility. Mitchel said the lights are great, but he’d also like to see some type of crosswalk in the area.
“A crosswalk would definitely work in some of these places,” he said. “When you’re coming across, you pray for that red spot right in the middle here in the median. That’s the only safe spot you have if a vehicle’s coming.”