HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Pontiac Grand Am lies in a crumpled heap at a salvage yard in Gulfport. Its crushed metal doors provide visual proof that the driver's side took a powerful hit.
Elizabeth Poche was behind the wheel of the car Wednesday morning, driving her eight-year old daughter to school. Her car collided with a pick-up truck on Highway 605.
"You can tell it's a somber mood with all the emergency personnel because loss of life has occurred. And we know there's a family somewhere that are going to be notified that they have lost their loved one," said Mississippi Highway Patrol Spokesman Johnny Poulos.
The wreck happened at the intersection of 605 and White Star Road. Bits of broken glass on the ground are reminders of another accident last month, also at the same intersection. That fiery crash sent two people to the hospital. State Highway Patrol spokesman Johnny Poulos said four other accidents have occurred on 605 since the beginning of the year.
"It's a heavily-traveled highway. But it's people not focused on driving. There are five intersections between Three Rivers and Highway 67. Each one of those intersections is a potential area for an accident to happen," said Poulos.
And with cars whizzing by at 65-miles an hour or more, Poulos said many drivers tend to pull out onto the four-lane highway without properly scanning for traffic.
"They make the mistake of not looking back to the left to make sure it's still clear, and they pull out onto the highway and this is where we're having the collisions," said Poulos.
Poulos is urging drivers to make responsible decisions and avoid distractions, especially cell phones.
"That's all we're asking is for people to really be focused and be aware of the traffic traveling," said Poulos. "It's causing problems out here and people are losing their lives."
Poulos said most of the accidents occurred in the mornings and afternoons. That's when people are going to work and students are heading to and from St. Patrick High School.