Archived Story

Poise displayed in wreck response

Published 12:05am Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Editor’s note, this letter was sent to Natchez Mayor Butch Brown.

My beautiful granddaughter, Elizabeth Bon Johnson, moved to your city recently and I had the honor of being invited to her home on Thanksgiving Day.

My daughter, Angela Johnson, was kind enough to drive me. As we were trying to find our way to the home, we were involved in an accident. My vehicle was undamaged, but the other vehicle overturned, and several people were trapped inside.

I have worked as a union carpenter for 34 years and thought I would always have the physical, as well as the mental capability, to help in any situation.

Since I am now 70, I found that day that much of my strength and mental acuity are demised.

I watched as my daughter ran to the overturned vehicle, which was still sliding on its hood and jerk on every door she could find, yelling for the passengers to hand the children out to her. At about this time your brave and very professional police officers arrived and with calm professionalism got all passengers to safety, made sure all were wrapped in blankets and the children were safe.

There were no derogatory remarks, no yelling, shouting, no blaming, just good men with the grace of God shining in their acts, faces and the way they handled themselves and the situation.

I write this letter to you (Mayor Butch Brown) and the chief of police to thank you so much for the men that each of you are to instill in others the courage to act in all situations with the dignity and grace I witnessed that day.

May God bless each of the wonderful policemen and first responders (firemen) but also you as their leader. We need more acts of kindness such as shown that day.

Again, thank you for your leadership and please thank all the wonderful people who helped us that day. May God bless each of you.

Betty B. Kemp

Hazlehurst