Submitted photo — Emergency responders and police were on the scene of a bridge accident this morning.

Archived Story

One reported dead, three injured in accident on bridge

Published 11:11am Saturday, December 15, 2012

VIDALIA — A Catahoula Parish woman was killed and three people were injured a two-vehicle accident on the Mississippi River bridge this morning.

The bridge from Natchez to Vidalia was closed this morning during the Jingle All the Way 5K, and two-way traffic was diverted to the other bridge. Officers from Vidalia and Natchez were stationed at each end of the bridge directing traffic.

Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis said in an e-mailed statement that witnesses reported a green Mercury SUV was traveling west at approximately 8:40 a.m. when a red Mazda car traveling east veered into the west-bound lane and hit the SUV head-on.

The driver of the Mazda, Kerry Davis Byargeon, 36, was taken to Natchez Regional Medical Center, where she later died.

The driver of the SUV, Pete Taylor, 66, of Natchez, was airlifted to the Rapides Regional Medical Center. Taylor was in stable condition as of 6:30 p.m.

Two juveniles were taken to NRMC and then transported to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson with non-life threatening injuries. The juveniles were also in stable condition as of 6:30 p.m.

Lewis said Louisiana State Patrol, the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Natchez Police Department and Natchez and Vidalia fire departments assisted his department after the accident.

  • Anonymous

    This is so senseless!!! SOMEONE wasn’t paying attention. There were police on both ends of the bridges….you’re telling me so idiot FORGOT it was 2 was traffic from the time they entered the bridge and the time the exited?????

  • Anonymous

    Matter of fact, my wife and I were crossing the bridges at that time and she said she hoped no one came at us headon…:(:(

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Wasn’t there a walk or a run this A/M suppose to have happened?? This kind of thing should never go on a major highway and expecially a bridge for I can smell the law suits coming and this is so unsenseable of its happening!! I heard there was dogs killed and hurt as well?!!

  • Anonymous

    As many good places as there are to run in Natchez, why have a run on the bridge?

  • Anonymous

    This is so sad for all those involved. My prayers to their families. I would like to say that MANY cities and towns run across bridges during 5k type events and walks without incident. It is a very common thing.

  • Anonymous

    The other areas that have runs across bridges do not squeeze all of the traffic into two lanes. It was a poor choice to completely shut down one of the bridges.

  • Nikki Johnson

    The lady killed in the on the bridge this morning was my first cousin. She was a very bright & beautiful woman. Yes her 2 dogs were with her. One passed away with her the other the last we heard was critical. Please keep all negative comments to your self!!! We are hurting enough!!!

  • Anonymous

    Folks, traffic is moved onto one bridge or the other giving us two way opposing traffic like in the old days at various times because over size loads, accidents, and who know what else which I believe is common practice in many areas that have parallel bridges. This was a horrific accident, but I for one wonder what caused the car to veer into the other lane. Sure hope it was not because of having loose animals in the car.

  • vilou09

    So what if it was? It’s a tragedy, but what are you supposed to do with dogs when you travel? Let me know so I can start doing it.

  • Anonymous

    Tragic on all counts. All my best wishes to you and your family.

  • Anonymous

    Well now, let me think, seems I have seen these rectangular shaped things in the pet areas of some stores that have holes in them for ventilation and a lockable door and they call them, let me think, oh yeah!, they call them pet carriers.

    I can’t count the number of times over the years that I have seen people driving with dogs up in their laps, jumping up to look out the driver’s window, etc, etc,. Either get a carrier to secure them or get a harness that buckles into the seat belt system in the rear seat and secure them that way or leave them at home. I used to think laws mandating the securing of pets, which some states have reportedly done, were silly, however in the face of a tragedy like this it sets me to wondering if the animals played any part in the accident which then leads me to ask what can be done to attempt to prevent such from happening again.

    The two way traffic on that wide bridge was not the cause of the accident though it worsened the result via the head on collision versus a single vehicle smashing into and sliding along the guard rail. I figure we will see two way opposing traffic on these bridges every so often, just as the the traffic is on most of our highways and bridges in this entire area. If that is considered to be the cause of the accident then wouldn’t we be then compelled to make every street, road, and bridge one way only in order to prevent such accident?

  • Anonymous

    Fact is we were squeezed into two lanes over the old, significantly narrower bridge for many many years before the new bridge was ever built, just as we are on most all of our local roads and bridges. The two way opposing traffic pattern worsened the accident via the head on, no doubt, but two way traffic on the wide spacious bed of that bridge did not cause the vehicle to veer across the bridge into the opposing traffic, something else was the CAUSE of the accident. Whatever caused the car to veer out of their lane could have happened on any one of the many miles of two lane roads, streets, and bridges in this area, it just so happens that it occurred on the bridge at that time. If the same veering had happened on the Ferriday-Vidalia highway and the car was in the inside lane it could have just as easily crossed over into the west bound lane, which could have been even worse given the highway speeds that would have been involved.

    The cause, veering out of your lane of travel, is the cause and it was not the two way traffic. I regret having to seem harsh about this, but when most of our streets, roads and bridges are two lane, two way, opposing traffic it is hard for me to accept the premiss that this accident occurred and was caused by the two way traffic. The loss of a life, yes probably, but the two way traffic was not the cause of the collision.

  • Anonymous

    I am so sorry to hear about the tragic wreck on the bridge, my prayers are with the families, may you find peace.

  • Anonymous

    I know that the bridge was two lanes only. I drove on it for years when it was a two lane bridge. One of the big reason that the new bridge was built was because there was too much traffic to be safely handled by two lanes. When people get used to having two lanes going each way and the traffic flow is changed temporarily, they stop paying attention and move into the other lane without thinking. I can understand the traffic flow having to be changed for construction or an emergency but not for fun. Why would you want to revert to a situation that was inherently dangerous to start with? It’s just not worth the chance that there could be a tragedy like this one.

  • H Girod

    Where was the traffic cones?

  • elise morrone

    Kerry was an amazing warm kind person. Her leaving this world is a huge lose. I pray for her husband and family at this time. My heart is broken.

  • Nikki Johnson

    Our hearts are too. She is in a better place.

uncertain