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Fatal crash near Claiborne Hill

An accident occurred on Aug. 17 near Claiborne Hill, which resulted in the death of an elderly woman.

Assistant Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said the accident occurred on Aug. 17 at approximately 2:20 p.m. police were dispatched to Highway 43 North in reference to a two-vehicle car crash. When they arrived at the scene, officers noticed that one of the vehicles suffered heavy damage, Magri said.

Officers spoke to the driver of the vehicle that suffered the least damage, Olivia Morel, 27, 17 Werner Road, Picayune, who said she was traveling east on Highway 43 North when the other vehicle began cross the median from the south side of Highway 43. At that time Morel’s vehicle struck the second vehicle on the driver’s side door – causing heavy damage, Magri said.

The Picayune Fire Department and AAA ambulance service were both dispatched to the scene. Magri said the driver of the second vehicle was identified as Mary J. Smith, 77, 84 Richardson Ozona Road, Picayune. She sustained serious injuries in the accident and paramedics attempted to perform CPR and first aid until she was taken to Highland Community Hospital where she was pronounced.

Magri said that at the time of the accident a 2-year-old child strapped in a car seat was in Morel’s vehicle. The child was also transported to the local hospital for medical care. While officers had no reason to believe Morel was under the influence of any substances, she was asked to consent to a blood test, which she did, Magri said.

Investigation into the accident, which included eye witness testimony, determined the accident was caused by Smith’s failure to yield to the right of way, Magri said.

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