By John Howell
BATESVILLE – Two people died and six were injured in an early Sunday vehicle crash on I-55 about one mile south of the South Batesville exit.
Dustin Leon Buice, 18, of Batesville and Mattie Willis, 79, of Grenada died as a result of injuries in the three-vehicle wreck, Panola County Coroner Gracie Grant Gulledge said. Batesville Deputy Police Chief Jimmy McCloud said that police received their initial report of the accident about 1:40 a.m. The preliminary investigation indicated that Buice’s northbound vehicle drifted off into the median. The driver’s attempt to direct the vehicle back into the northbound lane apparently caused it to flip in the median. It finally came to a rest in the southbound lane where it was struck by two vehicles.
“It was horrible,” McCloud said.
Buice was pronounced dead at the scene; Willis, who was in the second southbound vehicle, was transported to Merit Health Batesville where she died a short time later, Gulledge said. No further information was available on the injured who were taken to various medical facilities for treatment.
A memorial gathering for Buice was held Monday afternoon at Wells Funeral Home. He was a student at Base Camp Academy in Water Valley.