Three dead after ‘tragic’ accident

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 20, 1999

A two-vehicle accident on a rain-slicked Foster Mound Road in Adams County left three people dead and two injured Saturday morning.

At around 8:45 a.m., a 1997 Ford delivery truck driven by Willie Lee Day, 22, of Concordia Park in Vidalia, collided head-on with a 1988 Pontiac driven by Willie Gaines Jr., 64, of No. 4 Johnson Road.

Gaines and his wife, Essie, 66, were killed instantly, said Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell. Passenger Freddie Johnson, 72, of No. 4 Old Courthouse Road, died at 10 a.m. at Natchez Community Hospital.

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The Gaines’ 6-year-old grandson, Jerry Shepard of 33 Gaylor Road, has a head injury and was in serious but stable condition at University Medical Center in Jackson, according to a hospital spokesman late Saturday.

Day was treated and released Saturday from Natchez Community Hospital.

Ferrell blamed the accident on defective brakes on Day’s truck and poor weather conditions on the road.

Ferrell said Day has been charged with careless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, defective equipment and driving with an improper license.

According to Day’s statement to deputies, he was driving east on Foster Mound Road when he met Gaines’ car, traveling west, on a steep curve.

Day said he tried to apply the brakes but instead slid into the other lane, struck Gaines’ car and pushed it off the road.

According to Day, who was working at the time of the wreck, the brakes on the Home Choice delivery truck were not working properly, and workers had tried to get them fixed Friday, Ferrell said. The truck was scheduled to be sent out of town for repairs.

&uot;This is certainly a tragic and unfortunate accident apparently caused by defective equipment and weather conditions,&uot; Ferrell said.

&uot;This is the most severe accident we’ve had in Adams County in several years. You never know when those can occur.&uot;