HATTIESBURG, MS – Two men died from injuries they received in a multi-vehicle truck crash southeast of Hattiesburg, Mississippi in Forrest County. The truck accident happened Tuesday afternoon on U.S. 49 North near the Camp Shelby Military Training Site/Hagler AAF. The region is in the far south section of the state, 90 miles southeast of Jackson, MS and 110 miles northeast of New Orleans, Louisiana.
The first part of the truck accident happened at approximately 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, in the area between the north and south gates to Camp Shelby/Hagler AAF. The initial collision was between a Dodge Charger and a Honda Accord. After the impact, the Accord went off the highway on the right side of the road and the Charger ended up in the median that separated the two lanes of the highway.
A white Ford Ranger pick-up truck, driven by 58 year old Percy L. Jones, had slowed down on the highway because of the accident and was rear-ended by an 18 wheeler. The tractor trailer, driven by an unidentified driver, apparently was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.
After hitting the smaller truck, the 18 wheeler then tipped over and fell on top of the pick-up truck, crushing the Ford Ranger. Local emergency workers responded to the scene of the truck accident and worked to free the driver Mr. Jones and his passenger, 58 year old Benjamin Gray, from the destroyed pick-up truck. The men were eventually extricated from the vehicle.
Both men suffered fatal injuries in the truck accident and were pronounced dead by the Forrest County Coroner. There were conflicting reports, with some saying the two men died at the accident scene and others reporting the men had been transported to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg where they died from their injuries. The driver of the semi truck was not injured in the truck accident.
In regards to the victims of the initial accident, the unidentified driver of the Accord was taken to a local hospital with injuries described as non-life threatening. His passenger had only minor injuries and was treated at the scene. The driver of the Charger also had minor injuries that EMTs were able to treat at the scene of the truck accident.
Officers from the Hattiesburg Police Department also responded to the truck accident scene and closed down both lanes of U.S. 49 North while crews removed the accident vehicles and debris from the roadway.
Traffic on the highway was brought to a virtual standstill and some reports said that it was backed up for at least a mile. Both lanes of U.S 49 North remained closed for over two hours, before one lane was eventually opened to traffic.
The truck accident remains under investigation and no charges have been made at this time.