JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) responded to seven fatal crashes during their 2022 Christmas Holiday Travel Enforcement Period, which concluded at midnight on Monday, December 26.

According to MHP, troopers issued 5,294 citations, made 80 arrests for impaired driving and investigated 160 crashes. Seven people were killed in separate crashes, and 36 injuries were reported.

The first fatal crash happened on Friday, December 23 on Highway 11 in Jones County. Troopers said a 2005 Ford F-150, driven by 51-year-old Joe Clayton, of Hattiesburg, was traveling south when the vehicle left the road and hit a tree. Clayton died at the scene.

On Friday, December 23, MHP responded to a fatal crash on Highway US 49 West in Sunflower County. Troopers said a 1997 Toyota Camry, driven by 38-year-old Christopher Harris, of Indianola, was traveling south when the vehicle left the highway and overturned. Harris died from his injuries.

On Saturday, December 24, troopers responded to a fatal crash on Highway 28 in Jefferson County. They said a 2007 Mitsubishi Pickup, driven by Dennis Crump, 38, of Hazlehurst, was traveling west on Highway 28 when it left the roadway and collided with a tree. Crump died at the scene.

On Sunday, December 25, MHP responded to a fatal crash on Highway 35 in Attala County. Troopers said a 2007 Chevrolet HHR, driven by 23-year-old John Gwatlney, of Kosciusko, was traveling north on Highway 35 when the vehicle left the road and overturned. Gwaltney died from his injuries.

On Sunday, December 25, troopers responded to a fatal crash on Highway 11 in Clarke County involving a pedestrian. They said a 2010 Nissan Maxima, driven by 18-year-old Jalen Nixon, of Vossburg, traveled north on Highway 11 when the vehicle collided with 42-year-old Wilt Alford of Pachuta, who walking north on Highway 11. Alford died at the scene.

On Monday, December 26, MHP responded to a fatal crash on Highway 586 in Marion County. They said a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado, driven by 63-year-old Charles Bass, of Columbia, traveled west on Highway 586 when the vehicle left the roadway, striking a light pole and overturned. Bass died at the scene.

On Monday, December 26, troopers responded to a fatal crash on Highway 11 in Pearl River County. They said 2008 Toyota Tundra, driven by William T. Jones, 37, of Picayune, was traveling north on Highway 11. The vehicle left the roadway and overturned. Jones died from his injuries.

All seven fatal crashes remain under investigation by MHP.

The New Year’s period will resume on Friday, December 30 at 6:00 a.m. and conclude on Monday, January 2 at midnight.