LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Area officials respond to the scene of a car chase in which the vehicle ultimately flipped Saturday afternoon near the intersection of Pineview Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Road.

Chase ends with wreck, injuries, flames

Published 12:06am Sunday, September 23, 2012

NATCHEZ — A high-speed chase down Martin Luther King Jr. Road Saturday afternoon resulted in a van overturning and catching fire before all three passengers were transported to different hospitals.

Natchez Police Department Detective Jerry Ford said officers initially responded to several 911 calls at approximately 3:43 p.m. Saturday regarding a domestic dispute on Ram Circle.

As soon as officers arrived on the scene, a male suspect jumped into a minivan with two other passengers and took off heading toward Martin Luther King Jr. Road, Ford said.

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Emergency personnel transport a man involved in a car chase and accident from an ambulance to an Air Evac helicopter Saturday afternoon near the intersection of Pineview Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

“Once they ran the plates of the vehicle and identified one of the suspects, the officers were going to terminate the chase and get an affidavit to arrest him,” Ford said. “As soon as they were going to turn around and stop chase, the officers saw the vehicle wreck.”

The minivan crashed and overturned in a ditch just off Pineview Drive.

Shortly after the crash, the vehicle also caught fire.

The crash halted traffic on Pineview Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Road, but passerby Nici Davenport wasn’t one to just stay put.

“I just got out of my car and ran toward the wreck,” Davenport said. “I don’t know why because most people would have just sat in the car, but I just wanted to help as much as I could.

“I just couldn’t sit there and let those people bleed to death.”

Davenport used to be a personal trainer and has first-aid and CPR training.

She began applying pressure to one of the passenger’s head, which was bleeding profusely.

“There was blood everywhere,” Davenport said. “It was just a mess.”

After firefighters extinguished the fire of the vehicle and officers called for ambulances, Ford said all three passengers were transported to different hospitals in the area.

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — An ambulance moves an injured person from the scene of the accident to a field to be flown with Air Evac to a regional hospital Saturday afternoon near the intersection of Pineview Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

Larry Thomas was airlifted to Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, John Thomas Jr. was transported to Natchez Regional Medical Center and Robin E. Lunkin was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Ford said he was unsure of any of the passengers’ conditions or if any arrests would be forthcoming.

“Our officers are still talking to witnesses and gathering statements,” Ford said. “We’re not exactly sure about arrests or charges at this point.”


  • Anonymous

    Bill to taxpayers and other people who actually pay their hospital debts: 50,000.00USD

  • Ishmail

    I would think there would be several charges on the driver of the van. Simple things like speeding, failure to yield to emergency vehicle, careless operation, felony evading, etc. I would start there and then go further.

  • Becky Burns

    you can,t fix stupid

  • Ashley Friloux

    So we’re supposed to let criminals just drive away now? Come on.

  • Ashton Martin

    Lets just say while fleeing from the police they crashed into a car full of innocent people and someone died because the fool tried to out run the police over what started out as domestic violence who would be held accountable for the deaths.In todays society law suits are at an all time high.This is just my opinion but it took the officer over 5 miles to read the tag number he must didn’t have on his glasses

  • Anonymous

    ms. davenport, thank you for not hesitating in responding to a serious situation. you have your priorities straight! you might very well have saved lives. what a badge of honor! let the legal system take care of the crimes committed. you did a great thing. blessings to your kind and brave heart.