Highway Patrol says fatal Nesbit-area crash was hit-and-run

NESBIT, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi casino limousine crash that claimed the lives of four Memphis-area family members has been ruled a hit-and-run accident.

Authorities said a passenger car, and not a truck as earlier believed, had struck the 2004 Gold Strike Casino limousine on April 28th at the Nesbit exit on Interstate 55. The car hasn't been located.

A spokesman for the Mississippi Highway Patrol in Jackson, Warren Strain, says the hit-and-run ruling was made by Sergeant Brady McMillen, the head of the MHP's accident reconstruction team.

The dead are 47-year-old Daksha P- Bhula, 80-year-old Maniben Bhula, and 45-year-old Kiran Parag, all of Germantown, Tennessee. Fifty-four-year-old Nirmala Parag, of Memphis, was also killed. Six others were injured in the crash, including the driver of the limousine.

Following the accident, authorities said it appeared the limousine had left the interstate and struck a large concrete structure.

DeSoto County Coroner Jeff Pounders, however, said that he was told a witness had reported another vehicle struck the limousine before it left the roadway.

Strain said investigators are looking for the passenger car believed to have been involved and are following several leads.

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