Troopers: Man flees after fatal accident

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 11, 1999

RIDECREST, La. – A Ridgecrest man was killed early Friday morning in a two-vehicle wreck on U.S. 65, and state troopers said the driver of the second car fled on foot.

Johnny W. Mize, 58, was killed when the 1991 Chevrolet Geo he was driving was involved in an accident just after 2 a.m. with a 1992 Buick Skylark.

Mize’s passenger, Betty A. Mize, 45, of Ridgecrest, was taken to Natchez Regional Medical Center, where she was in critical but stable condition Friday evening.

Email newsletter signup

Patricia Barnes, 33, of Vidalia, a passenger in the Skylark, was treated and released at Riverland Medical Center.

A Ferriday woman was charged with obstruction of justice after she told troopers at the scene that she was the driver of the Skylark.

But senior Trooper Steve Childers said authorities believe Elsie Tannehill, 59, is either the mother or grandmother of the actual driver.

&uot;(The driver) fled and she came back and said she was the driver,&uot; Childers said. &uot;Other evidence indicated she was in fact not the driver.&uot;

Tannehill is cooperating with authorities to bring the driver in for questioning.

He will be charged in the incident, Childers said, but the trooper did not know how severe those charges would be.

A&160;troopers’ report said authorities don’t know why the driver fled or why Tannehill said she was the driver.

Investigators have not determined whether the accident was alcohol-related.

Troopers said the accident occured when Mize, traveling north on U.S. 65, turned left into the path of the Skylark, which was traveling south. Mize’s car was struck on the passenger side.

None of the drivers or passengers were wearing seat belts, troopers said.