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Oakland Man Killed In Crash

Tillatoba Fire Chief Ben Boxx helps a truck driver to an awaiting ambulance for medical treatment after his 18-wheeler collided with a car on Hwy. 51 last Thursday morning. The fiery crash claimed the life of an Oakland man driving the car and critically injured his wife, who was a passenger in the car. – Photo by David Howell

By David Howell


TILLATOBA – An Oakland man was killed and his wife critically injured in a fiery crash last Thursday, July 5, after their car was struck by an 18-wheeler on Highway 51, just north of the Yalobusha-Grenada county line.

   Yalobusha County Coroner Ronnie Stark reported Matthew Daniel Garrison, age 64, was pronounced dead at the scene. A Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesperson reported it appeared the 18-wheeler was traveling north on the highway around 10:30 a.m. and entered the southbound lane and collided with the car. Both vehicles came to rest in the road ditch and burned in a fire.

The passenger in the car, Garrison’s wife, was initially transported to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Grenada for treatment. The driver of the truck, Freddy McClanahan was treated at the scene. 

The wreck shut down the highway for several hours as first responders and law enforcement from multiple counties responded. Responders included the Oakland and Tillatoba fire departments from Yalobusha County and Geeslin Corner Fire Department from Grenada County. Deputies from Yalobusha and Grenada counties also assisted state troopers with traffic.

Stark reported Garrison was transported to Jackson for an autopsy and DNA testing for identification. Merideth Nowell Funeral Home in Clarksdale is in charge of arrangements, which were pending at press-time.

Stark also said a second coroner call was fielded around the same time Thursday morning at the Valley Motel in Water Valley. Tammy Lynn Rowsey Walker was pronounced dead at the scene from natural causes. 

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