Man involved in accident dies

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2007

NATCHEZ — Those charged with protecting fell victim to tragedy of their own in a Tuesday night car accident.

The driver of a car involved in an accident with Natchez police officer David Washington died overnight from his injuries. He was a Natchez fireman.

Darnell Woods was rushed to Natchez Regional Medical Center shortly after the 8 p.m. crash to be airlifted to University Medical Center in Jackson.

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Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said a representative from the hospital’s emergency room told him Woods died within five minutes of the flight to Jackson.

Woods’ brother-in-law Ray Brown said his family is in a state of disbelief.

“He was a really great guy,” he said.

Capt. Chuck Golden, who worked with Woods, said the mood around the fire station on Wednesday was solemn.

“After I found out what happened today, I really didn’t want to come in,” he said. “This is going to be very hard to deal with.”

Golden said Woods stepped eagerly into a position as fire truck driver when a previous driver left.

“He drove that truck like a pro,” he said.

Golden also said Woods possessed one trait in particular that made him a good firefighter.

“He was fearless,” he said.

Woods’ car, a Honda Accord, was struck on the driver’s side door.

Mullins said Washington, the other driver, was in route to assist another officer with a traffic stop when the accident occurred.

Mullins would not say whether or not Washington was using his lights and sirens while traveling south on Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

“That’s all under investigation,” Mullins said.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol will be conducting a full investigation on the accident.

Mullins said the investigation could take several weeks.