Stretch of Mississippi highway turns deadly: Two men die, several injured in separate accidents

Published 6:19 am Monday, February 8, 2021

A stretch of Mississippi highway turned deadly when two men were killed in separate vehicle collisions.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol reports that two men Marcus Baggins, 27, of Mobile, Ala., and Shane Hardy, of Estes Park, Colorado, died on U.S. 98 Sunday morning.

At 1 a.m. Sunday, Mississippi troopers responded to a crash on U.S. Highway 98 east of Wingate Road, which killed Hardy and injured six other people in Perry County.

An investigation revealed that a Subaru sports utility vehicle, driven by Hardy, collided into a Jeep Wrangler, driven by Walter Miralda, who was driving west.

Hardy was pronounced dead at the scene and passenger, Erin Caldiero, 39, Estes Park, was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Miralda and four other passengers were all transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.

Four hours later, troopers responded to a second vehicle accident on U.S. 98 Forrest County/Perry County line in Forrest County.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol said in a release that Baggins was pronounced dead at the scene after being ejected from the Nissan Versa he was driving collided with a Hyundai Sonata driven by Itaria Ward, 46, of Gulfport.

MHP said Baggins was driving east on U.S. 98 and Ward was in the eastbound lanes traveling west.

Ward collided with Baggins about 5:15 a.m. Sunday near the Forrest County/Perry County line in Forrest County, MHP said.