Youth identified in car wreck

Published 12:28 pm Thursday, July 5, 2007

NATCHEZ — Authorities identified the names of the three local youth who were killed and one seriously injured Wednesday night after their truck ran off a cliff and plunged roughly 60 feet into a tree.

Driver Michael “Cody” McJohnson, of Vidalia and in his 20s, was the sole survivor and was sent to University Medical Center in Jackson, Mullins said.

Passengers Nicholas Kirby and Justin Wiley, both in their 20s, were from Vidalia, he said.

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Passenger Kristin Holmes, of Woodville, was 15-years-old and would turn 16 in August, Mullins said.

Police got a call about a fight at In the Mix Club on Homochitto Street at roughly 10:55 p.m., Mullins said.

One of the patrol officers on the way to that call clocked the truck, reportedly coming from the club, driving west on John R. Junkin Drive, at 86 miles per hour.

The officer turned around to follow the truck, Mullins said.

“By the time the officer turned around, they were almost to Canal (Street),” Mullins said. “He turned around to go after them. He never got close to them.”

When the officer turned onto Canal Street, the truck turned onto Briel Avenue, Mullins said.

“As soon as (the officer) turned onto Briel, he saw them go off into the bayou at the end of Briel,” Mullins said. “They laid down approximately 50 feet of skid marks and went down approximately 60 feet and struck a tree.”

Emergency workers had to extract the driver with the Jaws of Life, Mullins said.

“They had to cut the roof off and the steering wheel off,” he said. “His legs were pinned. He was conscious. The three passengers were pronounced dead at the start.”