Though serious car accidents happen every day and each one is a tragedy, an especially horrifying example occurred in Mississippi this Halloween. According to authorities, what was supposed to be a fun and festive hayride ended in three fatalities and seven injuries after a pickup truck smashed into the back of a trailer full of people.
News reports indicate the Halloween hayride included 10 people, several of whom were from the Shaver family. Kristina Shaver was on the ride with her three daughters and her sister, Melissa Cook, and her children. According to police, Kristina Shaver and two of her daughters died due to injuries sustained in the crash. Even more tragic, Shaver’s husband was killed in a car accident earlier this summer, leaving Kristina Shaver’s middle daughter as the only surviving member of her immediate family. Officials say that the young girl is in critical condition at the University of Mississippi Medical center.
Those living nearby recounted the accident, saying that earlier in the evening they remember the group from the hayride stopping by and trick-or-treating. The trailer would unload and the kids would go door-to-door, piling back in the trailer to move to a new location. One couple remembers seeing the Shaver family and then worrying a little while later when they heard the emergency response vehicles in the distance. Soon after the sirens went by the couple saw three helicopters landing in a nearby baseball field, all signs of a very serious accident.
So what exactly happened? According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the trailer carrying the Shavers was making a turn off of U.S. 80 around 7:45 p.m. when a Ford F-150 driven by a young man crashed into the back of the vehicle. Police say they don’t yet want to speculate about why the crash occurred, as investigators are currently working hard to understand exactly how the accident happened.
Some have come forward since the wreck and mentioned that it’s tradition in the town of Chunky, MS, where the crash occurred, to pile into the back of trailers on Halloween and drive around town. One thing that is slightly unusual in this case is that the trailer wasn’t driven in town, but out in the country. The sun had set at the time of the wreck and there are no street lights on U.S. 80, likely resulting in poor visibility.
The accident is a particularly terrible reminder of how life can change in an instant. Even something like trick-or-treating can become tragic when a careless mistake behind the wheel occurs. If you have been injured in a Mississippi accident and think you may have a personal injury claim, please contact the Mississippi personal injury attorneys at Kilpatrick & Philley at (601) 856-7800.