MDOT gives update on workers injured in Sprint Mart fire

Emergency crews examine the scene shortly after a fire broke out at the Sprint Mart on Highway 12. Two MDOT employees were injured in the fire, with one being airlifted to Jackson for treatment (submitted)

The Mississippi Department of Transportation on Tuesday provided additional details following a fire at a Starkville gas station that injured two MDOT employees.

MDOT identified Nathaniel “Nate” Collier as the employee that was injured in a fire at the Sprint Mart on Highway 12 in Starkville Monday morning. Collier was airlifted to Jackson for surgery.

Nate Collier’s wife Patricia Collier said her husband has already had one surgery and is doing well.

“I ask the concerned public to continue to lift Nate in prayer,” Patricia Collier said in a media statement provided by MDOT.

Jalontae Harris - another MDOT employee that suffered minor injuries while assisting Collier in the fire - returned to work on Tuesday.

The fire started in the early morning hours when an MDOT tractor hit a gas pump at the Sprint Mart service station on Highway 12 headed toward Ackerman. The fire engulfed the tractor before causing severe damage to the canopy over the pumps.

The Starkville Fire Department responded to the scene and quickly put the fire out.

SFD Chief Charles Yarbrough told the SDN the driver of the tractor ran into the gas pump and broke a line loose and stayed in the tractor cab, giving the gasoline fumes time to build up before being set off by static.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Yarbrough said.