Investigators believe driver in Natchez Trace fatal crash fell asleep behind the wheel

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 26, 2022

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NATCHEZ — National Park Service law enforcement rangers investigating a sing-vehicle fatal accident that happened between late Wednesday and early Thursday on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Adams County believe the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

A vehicle driven by 27-year-old Garrett Foster Keating, of Fayette, left the roadway traveling down an embankment and hit a tree near Mile Post 7, Ranger Jamie Perry said.

Keating departed from his destination at 11 p.m. Wednesday. Later that night, his family went looking for him and found the accident site. Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the accident just after 1:30 a.m. on Thursday and attempted CPR, Perry said.

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“There were no sudden jerking movements as if he was trying to avoid hitting an animal,” he said. “There was a small bend in the road it looked like he traveled about 450 feet and his vehicle was about 100 yards off of the roadway.”

Perry thanked the Adams County Sheriff’s Office for assisting with the investigation when a Park Ranger wasn’t immediately available.

“We are very sorry for the family’s loss,” he added.

A routine toxicology report has been ordered, Perry said, adding more details about the crash cannot be released pending further investigation.

A memorial service for Keating was scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Church Hill United Methodist Church.