Two teens killed in crash, third in critical condition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Two young Miss-Lou residents were killed and a third critically injured early Monday morning in a car wreck on John R. Junkin Drive.

Sara E. &uot;Beth&uot; Bunch, 19, 49 1/2 Homochitto St., and Michael Boykin, 20 of 113 Jackson Court in Vidalia, La., were killed in the crash, said Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins. Bunch was pronounced dead at the scene and Boykin was pronounced dead later at Natchez Community Hospital.

Jessica L. Barnett, 19, of 7 Roselawn Drive, was in critical condition Monday evening at University Medical Center in Jackson.

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According to preliminary investigations, the wreck involved high speed and alcohol, Mullins said.

&uot;The contributing factors were speed and alcohol abuse,&uot; he said.

The car, a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am, apparently was headed eastbound on John R. Junkin Drive, having just crossed the bridge, when it went sideways and skidded into a lightpole, Mullins said.

The Grand Am hit six cars on the lot at East Automotive, significantly damaging the vehicles, Mullins said.

All three victims were thrown from the car, so there was no evidence at the scene as to who was driving. But a witness told police Boykin had been driving before the accident occurred.

&uot;From evidence at the scene, we’ve calculated the speed at at least 101 miles per hour,&uot; Mullins said.

The speed limit along John R. Junkin is 45 mph.

&uot;Results of blood tests are not complete, but there is evidence alcohol was involved,&uot; Mullins said.

Investigators don’t know where the three were headed, but they had driven from Louisiana.

&uot;This is the worst accident I’ve seen since 1991,&uot; said Mullins, who was at the scene early Monday morning.