December 15, 2010 8:25:00 AM
Three people, including two men from Starkville, were killed on icy highways in north Mississippi as cold weather caused slick roads and bridges this morning.
Several school districts also closed or delayed classes today in north Mississippi and Alabama.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Brian Mobley said two people were killed in an accident on U.S. Highway 45 Alternate near the Prairie community in Monroe County.
Mobley said Dave Tate, 39, and Earnest York, 41, both of Starkville, were killed after Tate''s 2004 Ford F-150 headed north over an ice-covered bridge and then left the roadway, flipping several times.
York was pronounced dead on the scene, Mobley said. Tate was transported by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus, where he later died.
Both men were thrown from the vehicle and were not wearing their seat belts, Mobley said.
Two other people in the vehicle were taken to Pioneer Hospital in Aberdeen with minor injuries, Mobley said.
In another accident, 44-year-old Corinth man, Felipe Manguila, died today when the pickup he was driving flipped off U.S. Highway 72 in Alcorn County.
Trooper Ray Hall said the accident occurred about 6:30 a.m. after Manguila''s truck crossed an icy bridge. Hall says the truck hit a vehicle that had stopped to assist a driver from an earlier wreck at the spot. A passenger in Manguila''s pickup was not injured.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that schools in Tupelo, New Albany, Lee County, Itawamba County, Union County and Pontotoc County were among those canceling classes Wednesday because of the weather.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation this morning reported ice on bridges in Lowndes, Alcorn, Chickasaw, Prentiss, Tippah and Tishomingo counties.
The Columbus Police Department said it hadn''t responded to any weather-related wrecks this morning.
Later in the morning, the mix of winter precipitation moved into north Alabama. The National Weather Service said snow, sleet and freezing rain were all possible before lunchtime in Alabama today, particularly in the Tennessee Valley region. A freezing rain advisory extended all the way south to central Alabama.
Forecasters said no major accumulations are expected. But school systems in north Alabama were shutting down for the day or closing early as a precaution.
The weather service said precipitation will continue through the day, but temperatures should be rising into the mid-40s or higher overnight to prevent any major problems with travel.
1. Ex-office manager arrested for embezzlement COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY