A Scary Few Minutes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

A Scary Few Minutes

Sharon Hinton didn't give a second thought to driving over the I-110 bridge Tuesday morning. But when she got to the metal drawbridge grid, all she could do was think about keeping control of her vehicle, and keeping her 4-year-old daughter and her unborn child safe. Hinton is nearly nine months pregnant, and she says the accident was very scary.

It was raining as Hinton drove south on I-110. She was headed to Biloxi to drop her daughter off at daycare and then to go to work. When she began crossing the grid, she says she tried to change lanes and she felt her tires begin to slide.

"I'm trying to brace myself in so the car won't swerve across the street, and I lost control of it and hit from one side of the bridge to the other side and swerved the truck around," Hinton said.

Rene Vaughn was three or four cars behind Hinton when she saw the SUV spinning. Vaughn says she and another driver stopped, and she ran to the passenger side.

"Then I realized there was a little child in the back seat strapped in with a seat belt. She was around 4 years old. The mother was around nine months pregnant, and she was totally hysterical, just screaming, 'Oh my God. I just knew I was going off the side. Oh my God, I almost went off the side,' and she was just so upset. We just couldn't get her calmed down."

Hinton says she was very upset.

"It was a rough feeling. I thought I was going to fly across that bridge. It was rough. It scared me a whole lot and I know it did my child too."

Hinton says something should be done about the metal grid on the bridge. Police say it can be tricky to drive.

"Yes, I think the grid is probably dangerous," said Biloxi Police Department Spokesperson Jackie Rhodes.

Sharon Hinton agrees.

"I feel if it's the cause of accidents there's something that needs to be done."

Hinton says she's grateful no other vehicles were involved in the accident. Rhodes says there have been 20 accidents on the I-110 bridge this year. But the accident reports don't indicate that any of those were caused by the metal grid.

Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown says there are no plans to replace the grid, but it may be time to look at roughing it up. That means putting metal on it and welding it in place to give tires better traction.

By Marcia Hill

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