Fatal accident takes two lives

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Two people died in what is suspected to be a one-vehicle accident that occurred before dawn.
Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said the accident
took the lives of 43-year-old Ronald Lee Cuevas and 44-year-old Stacey Tomaso of Biloxi. Turnage said Cuevas was living in Carriere, but carried identification that listed a Hammond, La., address.
Tomaso was ejected from the vehicle during the accident and died as a result of blunt force trauma, while Cuevas was partially ejected from the vehicle, Turnage said. Cuevas’ cause of death is pending an autopsy, Turnage said. Picayune Police Chief Bryan Dawsey said that autopsy will also look for the presence of drugs or alcohol.
An initial investigation into the accident leads emergency personnel to suspect the accident occurred in the early morning hours of Monday, possibly between 3 and 4 a.m., but the scene was not discovered until daylight, Turnage said. Dawsey said his department received a call of a vehicle in the median at about 6:30 that morning. Officers arrived to find the passenger and driver had been ejected in the accident and the engine was cold, leading them to suspect the accident occurred hours prior to the discovery.
Dawsey said the investigation showed the Ford F-150 was southbound on I-59 when it veered off the left side of the road, impacted a guardrail and flipped several times, ejecting Tomaso out the front windshield and Cuevas out of the rear window.
The vehicle left the road and entered a construction zone at the Interstate 59 bridge that crosses Canal Street in Picayune. Turnage said the vehicle was found upside down in that construction zone.
Dawsey said the area where the vehicle came to rest has no lighting, which is why it was not found until the daylight hours.
Dawsey would like to thank the Mississippi Highway Patrol for their assistance in investigating the accident.

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