Woman killed in Sat. wreck
NATCHEZ — Jessie Mae Donaldson left behind a big family, tons of friends and zero strangers Saturday.
The 20-year-old Washington native died in a single-car accident on John R. Junkin Drive across from Glenburney Nursing Home.
Interim Natchez Police Chief Danny White said police received a call about the accident at 1:44 a.m. Saturday.
Natchez Fire Chief Oliver Stewart said NFD crews responded and removed Donaldson from her 1990 red Ford Ranger truck using Jaws of Life.
A 14-year-old passenger and friend of Donaldson’s was also injured in the accident.
Donaldson’s father, Dale Donaldson, said the passenger was hospitalized and underwent surgery but is doing fine considering the circumstances.
“She called me this morning,” Donald said of the juvenile passenger. “She’s coming by (the Donaldsons’ house) when she leaves from the hospital.”
Donaldson said his daughter had an outgoing personality.
“She didn’t meet a stranger,” he said.
“She loved people, and you could walk into her room and she had just a smile about her,” Donaldson said.
In addition to a wealth of friends and a fiancé, Donaldson said, Jessie also had two young children.
“They were her life,” Donaldson said.
Donaldson said Jessie had ambitions of becoming an emergency medical technician and was working toward her goal by earning credits at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez.
White said Donaldson appeared to have lost control of the truck while traveling westbound in the left traffic lane. The truck then swerved onto an embankment on the left side of the road, where it struck a tree.
White said the investigation into the cause of the accident is still open, and his department currently has no reason to believe alcohol was a factor.
Coroner James Lee said he has submitted toxicology tests to a crime lab, as is customary with all auto fatalities.
“This was a true holiday tragedy if you ask me,” Lee said.
Donaldson said Jessie, who had an unusual combination of one blue eye and one green eye, loved bonfires, music and people.
He said his family is dealing with the loss together.
“I’m supposed to go before my children go, but we’re a strong family and a large family, and we all pulled together,” Donaldson said.
“It’s a struggle, but we’ll make it.”