Several factors contribute to busy week for MS Highway Patrol

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - If you were on the roads this weekend, you probably uttered the T-word: "Traffic."

"These cars are probably doing five to 10 miles per hour and a little further to the west; they're stopped," said Corporal Jason Gazzo with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

That was on a 70-mile-per hour portion of Interstate 10.

The reason traffic was nearly at a standstill was because an 18 wheeler overturned eight miles west of exit 34, causing two more minor accidents.

It's just one of the many issues that made this an extremely busy week for troopers with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

"Highway Patrol has issued over 7,500 citations and about 250 of those were DUI's," said Gazzo.

He added that there were four fatalities statewide due to accidents. He said they typically see these numbers increase during the holidays, but these numbers are off the charts.

"The way the holiday fell last year, it was a two day enforcement period. The way it fell this year, it was a five day enforcement period," said Gazzo. "We've seen a lot of accidents and weather was a main contributor."

The combination of inclement weather, an longer holiday period, and more vehicles on the roadways helped create an unusually dangerous situation.

"The main thing is slow down. This is supposed to be a time for celebration," said Gazzo. "We're just going to ask people be careful."

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