By NATHAN GREGORY
Oktibbeha County authorities continue to investigate an early Saturday morning car wreck that claimed the life of a Louisville man and injured the vehicle’s other two passengers to determine whether alcohol was involved.
James William McCloud, 37, was killed after the truck he was a passenger in ran off a roadway into a ditch before coming to rest in a pasture.
Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department Commander Brett Watson said the vehicle was heading southbound on Oktoc Road near where it intersects with Windy Ridge Road when the accident occurred. County Coroner Michael Hunt said McCloud died from multi-system trauma.
Watson said the truck’s other two occupants, Johnny Derek Eaves, 37, of Oxford, and Felicia Dawn Hunt, 28, of Louisville, are in stable condition at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Eaves was airlifted to NMMC, and Felicia Hunt was rushed to OCH Regional Medical Center before being transported via ambulance to NMMC. Michael Hunt said neither Eaves nor Felicia Hunt’s injuries were life-threatening.
County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said Oktoc/District 5 Fire Department arrived at the scene first after the accident was reported at 12:14 a.m. Saturday.
With the assistance of Starkville Fire Department, hydraulic rescue tools were used to extricate Eaves and Felicia Hunt from the vehicle. Watson said he would not identify the driver until an investigation of the accident is complete.
Watson said it may be several weeks before OCSD can determine the cause of the accident. Responders from Mississippi Highway Patrol, OCSD, East Oktibbeha County Fire Department and Starkville Police Department later arrived to assist.
Saturday morning’s accident was the latest in a string of several that have occurred in the county in the past week. On Oct. 17, there were two accidents reported in the Center Grove area. An early morning two-car collision sent a driver to OCH after her car hit the rear of an 18-wheeler which was stopped for a school bus. The bus was not involved in the accident, but two other vehicles sustained damage from flying debris.
Rosenhan said it was likely the driver was partially blinded by the sun as she drove eastbound on U.S. Highway 82.
Later that day, a driver and passenger of a car were also transported to OCH after a collision with a truck. Rosenhan said Maben/District 3 Fire Department used hydraulic rescue tools to remove the passenger of the car.