A Waveland woman died early Friday morning after her car crashed in a ditch on Old Hwy. 90 near the intersection of Hwy. 90 near Pearlington.

A Waveland woman died early Friday morning after the car she was driving crashed into a ditch and burst into flames.

A Dodge Caliber driven by 76-year-old Richarda Raicevich of Waveland ran off the roadway and into a ditch on Old Hwy. 90 near the intersection of Hwy. 90 just after midnight.

Bayside Fire Department Assistant Chief Michael Taylor said that when firefighters first arrived, the car was engulfed in flames and on its side.

Crews crawled into the thigh-high, muddy water in an attempt to smother the flames, Taylor said, but the position of the vehicle made it difficult to fight the fire. Taylor said a tow truck chain was used to help a West Hancock firefighter pull the vehicle upright so the fire could be fought more easily and quickly.

A third party who had been passing by and saw the car in the ditch called central dispatch to report the accident, Taylor said.

It was unknown at the time if the car was occupied, Taylor said.

Raicevich was discovered among the debris and Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk was called to the scene.

Mississippi Highway Patrol led the accident investigation. Officers from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the call and assisted at the scene.

The exact cause of the crash is unknown and is currently under investigation.

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