‘Pray for this county,’ sheriff says after 2 wrecks kill 11

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Three people have been killed and several injured in a wreck involving multiple vehicles, including a school bus with no children aboard, on a rural Mississippi highway …

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A Mississippi sheriff is asking for prayers for his community after two wrecks claimed 11 lives in his mostly rural county this week.

Three people were killed and several were injured Wednesday in a wreck involving multiple vehicles, including a school bus with no children aboard, on a highway not far from the scene of another crash that killed eight people two days earlier.

Kemper County Sheriff James Moore described the scene of the wreck as “chaos.” It happened Wednesday afternoon on U.S. Highway 45 south of Scooba.

“I’m asking you to please pray for this county and all of those affected in our county for the last few days,” Moore told WTOK-TV . “That’s a lot of fatalities, and we are asking for everyone to pray for the families that are involved.”

A Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman, Sgt. Andy West, said a southbound vehicle crossed the highway median and hit three northbound vehicles. A photo from the Macon Beacon newspaper, provided to The Associated Press, showed a white pickup truck with the front crushed and the top ripped back. A photo from the Meridian Star showed two other vehicles that were crushed in the front.

Moore said the bus came from the city of Meridian, which is south of the wreck site.

Scooba, with a population of about 695, is near the Alabama state line.

A wreck before dawn Monday killed eight people on Mississippi Highway 16 east of Scooba. That one involved a box truck and a passenger van. The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that it’s sending an investigator to look into technology on the 2020 International Harvester Corp. Box Truck and any potential contributing factors.

Weather isn’t believed to have contributed to the Monday wreck.

West said the eight men killed Monday were Guillermo Lugo, Francisco Lugo, David Lugo, Luis Lugo, Macario Peregrino, Jose Maldonedo, Arnulfo Martinez and Jose Barrera. The Lugos were brothers. All the victims lived in Macon, Mississippi.

Both drivers survived the Monday wreck. The van driver was Alejandro Resendiz, also of Macon. The truck driver was Steven McKinney of Good Hope, Alabama.

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