WJTV News Channel 12 - Shortage of MHP Troopers Leaves Family Stranded on I-55

Shortage of MHP Troopers Leaves Family Stranded on I-55

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  A family of four stranded left on the side of I-55 South. The driver of the car says another car cut them off on the interstate. The driver lost control into the car and flipped into this ditch just outside of exit 38 near Brookhaven in Lincoln County around 8:30 Sunday morning.

Officials with the Mississippi Highway Patrol say they received the call about the accident around 8:34 a.m.  The trooper working that area was headed to another wreck. "He was already in route to the first call so he went on to it," says Rusty Boyd, Public Information's officer for the Mississippi Highway Patrol's Troop M.

After working that first wreck, the state trooper finally arrived to the stranded family around 9:13 a.m.  

"This trooper right here is working not only his county but lawrence county which is the county to the east and he would also be covering half of franklin county which is the county to the west." Boyd says that's nothing new because of a shortage in the force. "Due to people retiring, people quitting, people transferred to different areas of the state or promotions," those are some of the reasons Boyd says there's a shortage.

So why not call for back-up? The troopers are spread thin.

"If we'd call a second trooper to work the second wreck he would have had to come from either the southern part of the district or the western part of the district which would have left those areas open and that first trooper can work both and been done before the other trooper had arrived on the scene," says Boyd.

Boyd says the solution to the shortage, more troopers. "We're going to have to have a patrol school, we need more troopers on the road."

County nor city police responded to the wreck. According to lincoln county sheriff, steve rushing calls on interstate wrecks are forwarded to the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Troopers can ask for county assistance if needed.

Brookhaven Police claim they never got the emergency call.

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