Man struck, killed in driveway

Published 11:53 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2018

NATCHEZ — A Natchez man died after his lifelong friend accidentally ran over him while backing out of the driveway, police say.

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said 76-year-old Jerry Hawthorne had invited a childhood friend, Homer Rushing, to his house on Wednesday.

Email newsletter signup

When Rushing backed out of the driveway just before 3 p.m. after the visit, Armstrong said he just did not see Hawthorne behind him.

“This was an unfortunate accident between two individuals who have been friends for a very long time,” Armstrong said. “We don’t see anything criminal at the time, however, we are still investigating it.”

On the scene, officers rushed to conceal the body beneath a white Ford F150 in Hawthorne’s driveway.

Firemen and police officers swirled around the house and surrounding residences as neighbors watched in huddles across the neighborhood.

Officers spoke to Rushing, an older man with white hair and deep-set eyes, for a long time before quietly escorting him to a police car.

The two men, Armstrong said, had been friends since they were 16.

“They visit together,” Armstrong said. “They eat together. They garden together. This was just an accident.”

Armstrong said as with all fatal car accidents, a toxicology report will be run on the driver of the vehicle, but at this time no one has pressed charges against Rushing.