Teens saved from serious injury in truck wreck

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Derek Jarvis knows he and six of his friends were blessed to have escaped serious injury during a truck accident Tuesday.

&uot;The Lord had his hands on us last night,&uot; said the 16-year-old varsity basketball player.

At about 8 p.m., Jarvis and his friends, all students at Natchez High School, received mostly cuts and scrapes after Jarvis’ pickup truck rolled over several times and landed on the edge of a yard on Duncan Avenue near Auburn Avenue. &uot;We could have easily have (rolled) to the right side of the street, and there’s a bayou over there,&uot; Jarvis said.

After meeting to play basketball Tuesday, Jarvis was taking his friends home when a dog cut in front of the truck. While swerving to miss the dog, &uot;We lost control and we flipped,&uot; Jarvis said.

Five of the victims – four 15-year-olds and an 18-year-old – were riding in the bed of the truck when it began to roll over. In addition to the minor injuries, one student broke a bone in his heel.

Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff said state law does not prohibit people older than 8 years old from riding in the bed of a pickup truck. &uot;Riding in the back of a truck is not as safe, but we’ve all done it, and there’s not a law that says it cannot be done,&uot; Huff said.

Huff said he would prefer for people to only sit in the back of a truck for riding through pastures and other places off public roadways.

The truck was totaled in the accident, Jarvis said.