2 dead, 10 injured after South Mississippi highway collapses following heavy rainfall
Three of those hurt were injured critically, including a student at George County High.
George County, Miss. (WLOX) - Two people are dead and 10 injured after Highway 26 in George County washed away late Monday night following heaving rains from Hurricane Ida. Three of those hurt were injured critically, including a student at George County High.
The call came in just after 10pm, said George County Emergency Management Director John Glass. In all, seven vehicles were pulled from the collapsed roadway overnight as emergency workers brought in a crane to help with the rescue-and-recovery operation.
Jerry Lee, 49 of Lucedale, has been identified by the coroner as one of the victims killed in the collapse. The second was identified as 49-year-old Kent Brown of Leakesville.
One of the people who is in critical condition is George County High senior Layla Jamison. The high school posted on its Facebook page saying she is in critical condition at USA Medical Center in Mobile.
The highway is a main thoroughfare, connecting Lucedale to Wiggins and several other cities in South Mississippi. Officials say it was raining as the vehicles drove on the highway, not knowing the danger they were driving into after the road washed out ahead of them.
Highway 26 between Highway 57 and Highway 63 will be closed until further notice.
Glass said the road is still actively washing out. He is encouraging all motorists to stay off the roads if possible as to not add more to our emergency responders and police. The collapse is east of the Benndale community on Highway 26. Other roads are closed in the county as well. If you come to a road covered in water, turn around don’t drown.
George County Schools will be closed Tuesday due to the highway closure due to the large number of bus routes and commutes affected.
Highway 26 is a main corridor for George County residents. Residents will have to re-route their commute to go around that long stretch of Highway 26.
“(Commuters) will have to either take (Highway) 57 to 98 or head south and cut across in Wade-Vancleave and come up 63. This is going to impact quite a few people on that side of the river,” said Glass.
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