By BRIAN HAWKINS
and PAUL SIMS
Starkville Daily News
Mississippi Highway Patrol officials continue to investigate the crash that claimed the life of a young man on Highway 25 South late Monday afternoon.
The crash occurred shortly after 3:30 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Highway 25 South and Longview Road just over a mile south of the Starkville city limits.
MHP spokesman Brian Mobley said the name of the young man who died the crash was not being released until all of his family had been notified.
Troopers were still working to contact the young man’s family members Monday night, Mobley said. The young man was not from Oktibbeha County, Mobley said.
Mobley did say that the black 2002 Toyota Camry the young man was driving was headed west across Highway 25 toward Longview Road when it was struck on the driver’s side by a northbound 1999 Toyota 4-Runner sport utility vehicle.
The crash remains under investigation, Mobley said.
The female driver of the 4-Runner — whose name was also not released Monday night — was not transported to the hospital, said County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan, who responded to the accident scene with Central Oktibbeha volunteer firefighters.
The force of the crash knocked the victim from the driver’s side front seat of the Camry to the passenger side back seat, Rosenhan said. Volunteer firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to free the victim’s body from the wreckage.
Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt pronounced the victim dead at the crash site.
More information about the accident will be released today, Mobley said.
Though not technically a Christmas holiday weekend fatality, Monday’s crash was the sixth traffic fatality reported in Mississippi since Thursday night.
During the Christmas holiday weekend reporting period, which lasted from 6 p.m. this past Thursday through midnight Sunday, MHP troopers responded to 146 crashes statewide, which saw 48 people injured in addition to the fatalities.