VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - New Year's Eve 2014 was a tragic day in Jackson County. Two people were killed and two more were critically injured in a single car accident around 1:15 a.m. on Old River Road in Vancleave.
It's surprising anyone survived. Jackson County Sheriff's deputies found a 2001 Silver Pontiac Grand Am crashed into a tree early Wednesday morning. What's left is barely recognizable.
They say speed was a factor and no one in the car was wearing a seatbelt.
Edward Dean Parnel of Vancleave, 47, and Brian Matthew Walls, 40, of Escatawpa both died. Driver Robert Asa Vice, Jr., 34, and Kelley Burroughs, both of Helena, survived.
Sheriff Mike Ezell said that the road isn't particularly dangerous. And despite 30 plus years in law enforcement, it's still hard to take.
"These things are very difficult, whether it's Christmas, New Year's or any other time," he said. "With an unexpected fatality, there's no time to prepare for that."
Ezell said the investigation is ongoing.
Some of Vice's family members were at the scene early Wednesday evening to try to figure out what happened. They aren't sure why Vice was on that road at that time.
Robert Vice said his son is out of surgery and is stable. The two men who died were in the back seat. There is no word yet on the condition of Burroughs, who was in the front passenger seat.
The Sheriff's Department has no specific numbers of traffic fatalities in the unincorporated areas of Jackson County, but deputies responded to 638 accidents in 2014.