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Charges filed following fatal SUV accident

May 11, 2012

By CARL SMITH
sdnnews@bellsouth.net

The Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office filed six drunk driving charges against an individual in connection with Wednesday’s fatal car wreck on Oktoc Road.

OCSO Chief Deupty Chadd Garnett said Austin Tyler Poole, 18, of 628 South Montgomery St., was charged Wednesday afternoon with six counts of aggravated DUI after the Ford Explorer he was driving crashed near the intersection of Oktoc and Skinner roads shortly after midnight that same day, killing one Starkville resident and injuring six other passengers.

Sheriff Steve Gladney confirmed Wednesday alcohol was present in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Poole was released on a $30,000 bond after he was processed at the county jail. Booking and release times were requested but unavailable from OCSO at press time.

County deputies were dispatched to the Oktoc/Bluff Lake area approximately 12:11 a.m. Wednesday and discovered a 1999 Ford Explorer overturned 20-30 yards away from the intersection. The vehicle came to a stop after running off the road and hitting brush and small trees. Deputies and emergency responders from OCH Regional Hospital and two county volunteer fire departments treated seven victims from the single-car accident.

Treasure K. Huffman, 19, of Starkville, was pronounced dead at accident by Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt.

Hunt said Huffman was ejected from the vehicle. He also said he believed other passengers were also ejected upon impact, but sheriff’s deputies said Mississippi Highway Patrol accident reconstructionists have yet to make that determination.

Oktibbeha County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said evidence at the crash scene suggested the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and went airborne after driving off the road.

MHP continued its investigation at the wreck scene Thursday, OCSO Commander Brett Watson said.

Six victims were transported to OCH Regional Medical Center, where three were treated and released. OCSO officials said the remaining victims were transported to critical care centers in Jackson and Tupelo.

An update on the victims’ conditions was unavailable.

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