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Wrecks scarce in Clay County

February 12, 2014

BY JUSTIN MINYARD
news@dailytimesleader.com

Although an icy front made its way through West Point Monday night into Tuesday morning, West Point and Clay County law enforcement officials said they were surprised by how smooth the 24-hour gap went for motorists. However, Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop G reported widespread — albeit mostly minor — weather-related traffic incidents, one of which resulted in a fatality.
West Point Police Department Chief Tim Brinkley said Monday evening as well as Tuesday morning was reflective of a normal day for patrol units.
“Everything went smooth,” Brinkley said. “We didn’t have any hiccups. ... Our amount of calls (was) consistent with a normal day.”
Brinkley said the resulting overlay of ice was not nearly as severe as the department had anticipated. Inside city limits, he said, there were no reports of power outages, nor any ice-related incidents. The lack of power outages, according to Brinkley, was a boon to the lack of incidents or wasted manpower. A power outage, he said, generally results in a “load” of false alarm calls.
The WPPD did receive a number of calls regarding possible assistance with transportation, but Brinkley said that is not a service normally provided to individuals unless they are under the employ of a medical facility.
“We had our regular shift on duty,” Brinkley said. “We had all of our officers on standby in case of (an emergency). Other than that, they were just asked to monitor the weather.”
However, as well is the case with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement officials said they were anticipating more inclement weather to perhaps hit later Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning. Brinkley and Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott said they were keeping a watchful eye on the weather forecast as they moved into Wednesday.
“We kind of missed a bullet, as they say,” Scott said. “ ... Overall the roads were in pretty good shape. Much better than we expected. Now, we’re concerned about the next wave.”
Scott said the CCSD has been in close contact with the Mississippi Highway Patrol throughout the icy spell.
Aside from one minor wreck that occurred near Pheba, Scott said there were no weather-related traffic incidents. Scott said a van “hit a slick spot on the road” at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, which in turn resulted in the driver veering off-road. The driver, Scott said, was not injured.
“Traffic was really down (Tuesday) morning,” Scott said. “With traffic not being as heavy, I think that’s one thing contributing to the smaller amount of accidents.

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