Five Fatalities On Coast Highways

Sunday morning marked the start to a somber day along coast highways. Five people died in three separate accidents.

"We had one wreck a little over a year and a half ago where six was killed in one car, but these was three different accidents and usually you don't get that many killed," says Sergeant Joe Gazzo with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

It began around 2 a.m. in Hancock County. A man was killed after his pick-up truck veered off Highway 603 and struck a tree. He was ejected from his vehicle.

A couple of hours later, in Jackson County, two men were killed in a head-on collision on I-10, about one mile west of Gautier. One driver was heading eastbound in a westbound lane of traffic when he collided with the other driver driving westbound.

Back in Hancock County, around 6:30, a pick-up truck veered off the road and struck a tree. Two passengers were killed. The driver survived but was taken to Biloxi Regional with massive body trauma.

Gazzo says it's not yet known whether alcohol or falling asleep at the wheel played a role in the fatal crashes. But, he says pulling over if you get tired behind the wheel could be a lifesaver.

"By taking the time to just close your eyes for just a little bit, go to sleep for five or ten minutes, it'll get you home safe," says Gazzo.

Gazzo says there are some other factors possibly creating more accidents on the highways. He points to the combination of more people on the road and more people taking routes they don't normally take due to roads or bridges being out.

"With that many people traveling on these irregular routes, you're going to have so many accidents. The only thing you can do is drive defenselessly," says Gazzo.

He says being alert and driving, not only for yourself, but for everybody around you could prevent more fatal accidents from happening on the coast.

Of the five fatalities, one was from the coast, 27-year-old Jason Dossett of the Kiln. The critically injured man, 40-year-old Vincent Tufo, was from D'Iberville.