Roadway debris may have led to deadly crash

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Even before crews cleared the six vehicle pile up from I-10 Wednesday night, we started hearing from other drivers about a possible cause.

Some on Facebook wrote about seeing a ladder on the interstate. Another viewer came to WLOX to tell us she drove past a large bag, a lawn chair and a sofa just minutes before the wreck that claimed five lives.

Linda Fisher was driving in that area shortly before it happened and said she had to dodge junk on the road. After another car hit some of the stuff, she said she pulled over and called Gautier Police.

"They told me they knew about it for a while," Fisher said. "I didn't even have to tell them what it was. They already knew. They said, 'Oh, is that stuff still out there?' And that's all they said."

Fisher wonders if all that debris contributed to the horrible accident.

"Somebody could have come out there until somebody showed up to get the debris," Fisher said.

Gautier Police walked the highway Thursday gathering more evidence and reconstructing the deadly scene. They confirmed there was another accident not far from the pileup, and I asked about the reports about hazards on the highway.

"The debris on the road, a broke down vehicle and the other accident were approximately, I would say two, two and half miles towards the Moss Point area," Officer Johnny Hackett said.

Officer Hackett said someone did respond to the report prior to the massive accident.

"I know Highway Patrol responded, along with myself and another officer, to try and clear these problems."

Gautier Police said they don't want to speculate on what caused the fiery crash that killed five people.

"We are still trying to locate more witness," Hackett said. "Everything from determining speeds of vehicles, impacts to time, skid marks. There is a lot of detail involved in on this."

And all those details could make this a long investigation to find out what really happened. 

"This is one of the worst accidents I have ever been involved with." 

Four of the five people killed in the accident have been identified; 29-year-old Sabriya Thomas Barnes and 5-year-old Alayah Wesley from Moss Point, and Steven Johnson and Thomas Andrews both from Mobile.  An 11-year-old remains in the hospital in stable condition. Three others were treated for injuries and have been released.

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