Rome, December 26 - Italian motor vehicle authorities said on Wednesday that 17 people have died in highway crashes over the holidays throughout the country. A head-on accident near the Molise city of Campobasso Monday killed a family of family of three after a 30-year-old man suspected of drunk driving swerved into the opposite lane, striking the car carrying 40-year-old Stefano Carrino, his 33-year-old wife Anna Maria Prioletta and their six-year-old daughter. In the southern region of Puglia near the city of Lecce, four people died in two separate accidents on Christmas. An 85-year-old and 81-year-old both died when their cars crashed head-on near the town of Corigliano d'Otranto, while both the driver and passenger (20 and 21) were killed when their Jaguar slammed into a tree after breaking through a protective wall in a near the town of Giuggianello. Near the northern city of Piacenza, two brothers (19 and 20) were killed when their car swerved from a state motorway and struck the wall of a home not far from where they lived. An 80-year-old man was killed on a rural road near the city of Bologna after his car struck a heavy transport truck on Christmas. On Christmas eve a man driving a van on the Milan-Venice highway near the town of Soave struck the vehicle of 62-year-old Severino Zenegaglia, who died when he was thrown from the car. On Christmas night, 37-year-old man died in a pile up on Rome's Ostiense thoroughfare and 55-year-old Antonio Catta was killed near the Sardinian city of Sassari after losing control of his vehicle and striking a highway barrier. The night between Tuesday and Wednesday, four Nigerians were killed when their car struck a bus near the city Reggio Emilia in northern Italy. Highway police association ASAPS said in a report on Wednesday that over 500,000 people have lost their lives in road accidents since the Italian statistics agency Istat began collecting data in 1952.