Wreck victims still unknown

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 3, 2009

WOODVILLE — A team of experts headed to the site of Wednesday’s fatal accident Friday to reconstruct the scene.

But the identity of two of the victims is still unknown, Mississippi Highway Patrol Sgt. Rusty Boyd said.

The driver and passenger of the SUV that apparently caused the head-on collision likely won’t be known until next week, Boyd said.

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The bodies and vehicle were burned past the point of recognition. The SUV did not have a tag, Boyd said, and finding the Vehicle Identification Number has proved hard due to the damage. Investigators couldn’t even clearly determine the vehicle’s make or model.

“They are trying to find (the VIN) on the frame,” Boyd said.

The reconstruction team will make a final report that includes victim identifications and suspected circumstances, like speed, Boyd said.

The SUV was traveling west on Mississippi 24 in Wilkinson County at approximately 5:20 p.m. Wednesday when it crashed head-on into a Saturn VUE carrying two people. Essie Green, age unavailable, and Dijonaise Rutledge, 15, were killed.

The SUV forced the Saturn backwards on the roadway, Boyd said. The Saturn was damaged so severely that only the license plate and rear emblem were identifiable.

Before the SUV hit the Saturn, it reportedly crashed into the back of a Nissan Sentra. The Nissan ran off the road into a small embankment, Boyd said.

The Nissan’s passengers went to the hospital but were treated and released without serious injuries, Boyd said.

All four people killed in Wednesday’s accident were declared dead on the scene.