Record five people die on Father’s Day in south Miss. wrecks

Published 1:25 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Five people died in three separate Father’s Day traffic accidents, the Mississippi Highway Patrol said.

“Nights will go by that we have one or two fatalities, but rarely this many,” said Sgt. Joe Gazzo, a patrol spokesman on the Gulf Coast.

Two of the wrecks happened in Hancock County and one in Jackson County. All five fatalities were men, ranging in age from 21 to 52.

The first fatality occurred at 2:21 a.m. in Hancock County at the crossroads of Mississippi 603 and Paradise Lane. Gazzo said that the 2003 Ford pickup that Jason Dossett, 26, of Kiln, was driving went off the road, struck a tree, and overturned. Dossett, who was alone in the vehicle, was ejected.

The second fatal accident was at 4:22 a.m. at the 60-mile marker on Interstate 10 in Jackson County. Gazzo said Joseph M. Crow, 51, of Hartselle, Ala., was driving a 2004 Honda eastbound in the westbound lane when he struck, head-on, a car driven by Jarvaris Barnes, 21, of Fort Pierce, Fla. Both men died.

Two passengers were killed in the third accident that occurred at 6:28 a.m. at the nine-mile marker on Interstate 10 in Hancock County. Gazzo said Vincent Tufo, 40, of D’Iberville, was driving a 2001 Ford truck that ran off the left side of the road and struck a tree on the driver’s side.

Tufo was taken to Biloxi Regional Medical Center with massive body trauma. Gazzo identified those killed as Drew Pridgen, 30, of Panama City, Fla., and Donald Lewis Heckler, 52, of Cedar Park, Texas.