A Mississippi woman was involved in a Thanksgiving Day crash that left three dead, including her, and it was reported she had been released from police custody after her fourth arrest for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.
Five vehicles were involved in a head-on crash on Interstate 59 near Pearl River on Nov. 22, WLOX-TV reported.
Shelley E. Rose, 48, of North Carolina, was traveling in the wrong lane when she caused the initial crash. She collided with a 2007 Saturn driven by Jada Bright, a 23-year-old woman from Picayune, WLOS-TV reported.
Rose’s van then crashed into a 2003 Nissan Altima being driven by Evans Vincent of Alabama, WLOS-TV reported.
All three drivers died in the accident, the report said.
Two other vehicles, identified by officials as a 2011 Honda CRV and a 2007 Toyota Tundra, were involved in the collision. The drivers and passengers in those vehicles were taken to nearby hospitals with minor injuries.
Two days before, on Nov. 20, Rose was arrested in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, on a DUI charge—her fourth offense. She made bail later that day and was released from custody, according to public records.
Rose was arrested in Jones County, Mississippi, on Nov. 21 for public drunkeness and was released again, public records show.
“On a misdemeanor crime, it’s not like a felony where we can hold them,” said Lt. Scott Wuertz with Ellisville police, the report stated. “We are only allowed to hold them on public drunk six hours before allowing them to post bond.”
Capt. Johnny Poulos with Mississippi Highway Patrol told the station that officials are trying to determine why Rose was driving on the other side of the highway.
Toxicology results have not yet determined if she was drunk or under the influence of drugs when she crashed.
Other details about the crash are not clear.
Pearl River, Mississippi, is located in Neshoba County and is around 75 miles northeast of Jackson, the state capital.
Traffic Deaths Down Across US in 2018
U.S. traffic deaths fell 3.1 percent in the first six months of 2018, according to preliminary figures released in October 2018, Reuters reported.
The U.S. traffic fatality rate fell to 1.08 deaths per 100 million miles traveled for the first half of 2018.
The fatality rate in 2017 was 1.16 million deaths per 100 million miles traveled—the second highest rate since 2008.
“This is good news and bad news,” said Deborah Hersman, CEO of the National Safety Council, CNBC reported. “The total number of fatalities is not getting worse, but the situation is not getting better.”
Hersman cited distracted driving and higher speed limits for the number.
“There are a number of states that have raised speed limits, some now have stretches at 80 or 85 miles per hour,” she said in the CNBC report.
In Texas, for example, she estimated that traffic fatalities jumped 7 percent from 2015 to 2017, in part due to higher speed limits in the state.
“We know it’s happening even though distracted driving data is hard to come by,” she said of drivers using smartphones while behind the wheel. “Police reports on accidents often don’t report if the driver was distracted and in many accidents, people don’t self-report themselves.”