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Fatal accident claims life of Carriere woman

FATAL ACCIDENT: Picayune Police officers investigate the scene of a two-car accident on I-59 that left one Carriere woman dead. Photo by Dart Spiers

FATAL ACCIDENT: Picayune Police officers investigate the scene of a two-car accident on I-59 that left one Carriere woman dead.
Photo by Dart Spiers

One woman has been killed in a two-car accident that took place on Interstate 59 near the South Picayune exit on Thursday.

Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said Teresa A. Spiers, 50, of 14 Sanford and Son Rd. in Carriere, died of massive blunt force trauma at Forrest General Hospital on Thursday afternoon. She was the passenger of a vehicle that was driven by Walter D. Sanford, 51, of 12 Sanford and Son Rd., said Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri.

Magri said that a preliminary investigation shows the vehicles collided as one vehicle shifted from the left lane and made contact with the other vehicle upon merging into the right lane. The collision caused both cars to lose control and flip several times before coming to rest on the right side of the interstate; one vehicle landed upright, while the vehicle driven by Sanford landed upside down, said Magri.

Spiers was ejected from the vehicle during the accident, said Magri, who added that she and the driver were transported by ambulance to Highland Community Hospital.

Upon arrival at Highland, Turnage said Spiers was transported to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, where she later died from her injuries.

Magri said an investigation on scene revealed alcohol could have been a contributing factor in the accident.

The vehicle in which Spiers was a passenger contained empty beer cans. Some of the cans were recovered in the car while some had been ejected from the vehicle.

When a vehicular accident involves injuries, law enforcement is mandated by state laws to draw blood for testing. Magri said Sanford’s blood was drawn and sent to the crime lab, where it is currently being tested.

According to state law, vehicular homicide charges could be filed if the results show sufficient evidence of impairment.