Car Chase Leads To High Drama On Hwy. 6

The Race Track

Tuesday morning, as I industriously worked on my Sunday School lesson, I heard Nannette call, “Bill, come here, there’s something happening on the highway” (not as urgent as her “snake call” but only about two notches below). I just recently heard that call when, at a Wesley meeting in Oxford I was handed the phone  and her first words were, “I’m packed and leaving.  There’s a snake drinking from my fountain on the deck.”   

When I went to the front windows it was apparent that the eastbound traffic was moving very slow while the west bound was almost nonexistent. The MDOT people had been working on my neighbors’ entrance ramp and culvert for several days, so I assumed that was affecting traffic. We rode down to the highway after we heard an emergency vehicle arrive. From our drive, we could see many emergency vehicles already there, mostly MHP but there were a number of Panola County Sheriff vehicles.  One auto was in the median and another on the westbound side drain.  

An Accident Begins

The accident started in Tupelo when a young man stole an automobile.  A Tupelo mother put her five-day old child in the back seat and went back to get another child. The man stole the car while she was gone. They were on the way to the doctor. The child was unharmed in the wreck although the driver was injured.  

The man in the vehicle in the westbound vehicle, a Chrysler van, was uninjured. His van was rear ended by the fleeing vehicle, when the driver swerved to avoid the Highway Patrolman, Sgt. Mike Wilkie, who threw a spike strip under the speeding car.   According to a MDOT worker the van flipped at least twice, before coming to rest in the side ditch.    

The Usual Damage

This may seem like a trite thing—none of us lost our fence(s). The stretch of Highway  US 278-MS 6  on which we live is close to five miles in a straight line built many years ago as a high-speed road. We wonder about the average speed of the vehicles traveling the road.  When we set our speed at the limit, even the trucks pass us like we’re sitting still.  We lost our fence several years ago  and  if it had been repaired post-haste would have lost it again to another accident.   

Several years ago, in the days of Goodnight’s Store, Mr. Goodnight and I listed wrecks that we could remember between his store and our house—over 20 and today we can add several involving fatalities.  

Wherever you go—drive safely—when I hear a vehicle pass with the air “popping,” and they do—that vehicle is going over a hundred miles per hour (146 f/s). The speed limit is 95 f/s.

Do have a great weekend.  I had a long visit with old friend D. C. Morgan and will include some of that next week.  You can reach me at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606, 662-563-9879 or wsissell@bellsouth.net.      

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