Wreck kills 4; cause unknown

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 2, 2009

Woodville — It’s not likely anyone will ever know what was going through the mind of the driver that caused a Wednesday evening auto accident in Wilkinson County.

The driver of the vehicle that caused the accident is dead — and so are three other people.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Sgt. Rusty Boyd said the accident was one of the worst in the area in a long time.

Email newsletter signup

“It really doesn’t get much worse than that,” Boyd said.

The accident occurred on Mississippi 24 outside of Woodville at approximately 5:20 p.m.

Boyd said while investigators are still studying the incident, it’s believed the driver of a full-size SUV is to blame.

Boyd said the SUV, headed westbound and carrying one passenger, first crashed into the back of a compact car headed in the same direction.

“That vehicle left the road,” Boyd said.

The SUV continued in the same direction for approximately half a mile and then crashed head-on into a 2003 Saturn VUE.

Wilkinson County Coroner Travis Sharp said both occupants in the SUV and both occupants in the Saturn were pronounced dead at the scene.

While it’s unclear who was driving the Saturn VUE, both occupants — Essie Green and Dijonaise Rutledge — were ejected from the vehicle.

Sharp said Rutledge was 15 and was able to establish both women are related and are from Woodville.

Green’s age was not available.

Boyd said the SUV was traveling at such a high rate of speed that it actually forced the Saturn backwards off of the road and into a tree.

Boyd also said it’s believed neither of the Saturn’s occupants were wearing seat belts, however, the crash was so powerful, Boyd said, it’s not likely either would have survived even if they were buckled.

Aside from the vehicle’s rear emblem and license plate, it was not noticeable as a vehicle, Boyd said.

“It was real bad,” he said.

After crashing into the Saturn, the SUV flipped over several times and caught fire.

Boyd said both occupants of the SUV were burned so badly that they couldn’t be identified.

It’s not known if the accident or the fire caused their deaths.

The vehicle was so badly damaged that investigators have not been able to determine its make or model.

Sharp said the holiday would slow the identification of the burned bodies.

Boyd said both individuals from the SUV have been sent to Jackson to be autopsied.

But what was happening in the SUV before the accident remains a mystery.

“The only people who could tell you are deceased,” Boyd said.