Picayune woman dies after vehicle collides with 18-wheeler that slowed for previous accident

Published 7:00 am Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Picayune woman passed away after sustaining injuries during a two-vehicle accident Tuesday evening.

Picayune Police Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said the accident was reported Tuesday just before 5 p.m.

At that time an officer working a minor accident in the north bound lane of Interstate 59 near the weigh station heard another accident take place, Magri said.

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Investigation into the accident determined that as an 18-wheeler passed the minor accident, he reduced his speed, as per state law, but a 2011 Toyota Prius being driven by 53-year-old Kim Mills of 8001 Fishhook Lane, Picayune, did not slow.

The Prius then collided with the rear end of the 18-wheeler, ending up under the trailer, Magri said.

Emergency responders with AAA Ambulance Service, Picayune Fire Department and the Nicholson Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene to provide medical assistance and cut Mills out of the vehicle.

She was later transported by helicopter to Highland Community Hospital since it was the closest emergency room, Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said. She would later die as a result of blunt force trauma, Turnage said.

The driver of the semi-truck, identified as 31-year-old Israel Pruneda of Magnolia, Texas, consented to a blood test to determine whether drugs or alcohol were contributing factors in the accident. Magri said that while there was no suspicion that the driver of the truck was under the influence, blood is drawn from individuals involved in accidents that result in a fatality as per state law.