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Collins man killed Friday in I-20/59 wreck

By Staff
From Staff and Wire reports
Nov. 24, 2001
A Collins man was killed Friday when his pickup truck veered off Interstate 59 at mile marker 148 as he tried to merge onto Interstate 20
Paul Bolton, 36, died from massive internal chest injuries he suffered after his truck hit a tree, said Marl Cobler, the Lauderdale County coroner-medical examiner.
Authorities said excessive speed and a wet roadway probably contributed to the 11:15 a.m. accident, which occurred about three miles west of Meridian at the I-20/59 split.
Bolton was among at least four people killed on Mississippi roads since the Thanksgiving holiday travel period began at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The travel period ends at midnight Sunday.
Last year, seven people died on Mississippi highways during the holiday period.
Besides Bolton, three other people were killed and two were injured Friday morning in an accident on U.S. 49 in Stone County about 10 miles south of Wiggins.
Staff Sgt. Walter Armstrong of the Mississippi Highway Patrol said the 4 a.m. crash occurred when a 1995 GMC pickup truck hydroplaned, spun off the roadway, struck a tree and flipped over.
Killed were Yolanda Pope, 19, and Krystal Bolden, 19, both of Wiggins, and Nephretie Bradshaw, 20, of Long Beach. All three had been riding without seat belts in the back seat of the extended cab truck, Armstrong said.
The driver of the truck, Frederick Lewis, 21, of Wiggins, was treated and released from Garden Park Hospital in Gulfport. A front seat passenger, Terranthium Galloway, 19, of Wiggins, was taken to the same hospital where he remained in serious condition Friday.
The Highway Patrol was investigating the accident, Armstrong said.
Officers have stepped up patrols and set up safety check points around the state, Armstrong said.
We're just doing all that we can to keep that fatality count down,'' he said. We just can't stress enough the importance of wearing seat belts.''
As of Friday, Armstrong said 3,086 tickets had been issued around the state 120 of those were for seat belt violations and 12 were for child restraint violations. Officers made 42 DUI arrests around the state.
Last year, troopers issued 6,212 tickets, investigated 273 accidents and made 121 DUI arrests, Armstrong said.