Perkinston teen identified as second crash victim

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A teenager from Perkinston has been identified as the second victim in that tragic head-on collision between a truck and a van.

Hancock County Coroner Norma Stiglet says the victim is 17-year-old Tristan Sharkey.

Two other people are still in critical condition. The accident happened just north of Standard Dedeaux Road in North Hancock County shortly before 2:30 Thursday afternoon.

The driver of the truck has been identified as 48-year-old John F. Smith of Carriere.

Twisted mangled metal is all that remained of two vehicles after the head on collision.

"Right now we have two confirmed fatalities," said Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Johnny Poulos.

Poulos said too often head-on collisions end like this one.

"We had a pick-up truck that was traveling northbound on 603, we had a van traveling southbound on 603. The van crossed the center line collided with the pick-up truck."

The accident happened near a sharp curve in the highway, following a heavy down pour.

Poulos explained, "As far as contributing circumstance we're looking at everything right now. Now the process starts of unfortunately trying to piece together what actually happened in this crash. We have our reconstruction team on site."

Gerald Ladner is the pastor at a church right up the street from where the wreck happened. He said he's seen his share of fatal accidents on Highway 603.

"One time there was five people dead out here on this Highway at one time. The road is entirely too narrow for the traffic the amount of traffic we're having on it," Ladner said.

The Highway Patrol urges motorists to always drive with caution.

"Right now we're having a rash of fatal crashes and this is what we want to avoid," Poulos said. "We're asking people please pay attention while your driving try to avoid distractions as much as you can."

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