During the past week there have been four vehicular fatalities within Scott County, and another one outside of the county, in Pearl, involving a former member of the Forest Police Department and Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
On Monday, September 18, there was an accident on Highway 35, north of Forest, involving an 18 wheeler log truck and an SUV at about 11:30 a.m. The Scott County Sheriff’s office received the call to the accident at 11:34. The driver of the SUV, Thomas Lofton was ejected from his vehicle and killed instantly. Lofton’s truck and the 18 wheeler struck head-on. Lofton was taken to Lackey Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead upon arriving. The driver of the log truck suffered no significant injuries. The scene was worked by Mississippi Highway Patrol.
On Tuesday, September 19, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office was called to a vehicular accident near Raytheon on Highway 80 between Forest and Lake. The accident involved one vehicle, a log truck, which struck the railing of one of the narrow bridges on the strip of Highway 80 where the accident occurred, and the truck veered off the road into the trees. Scott County Coroner, Joe Bradford said, “Witnesses reported that the log truck’s trailer, which was empty, clipped the railing.” The truck struck a large tree and the driver was killed on impact. The truck caught fire and thus the identity of the driver has yet to be confirmed as Highway Patrol is awaiting DNA results to make a positive ID.
On Wednesday, September 20, former member of the FPD and Sheriff’s Office, Joseph Lee was involved in an accident on Interstate 20 outside Pearl at about 3 a.m. which took his life. Lee, 65 years old, was driving an 18-wheeler when he struck a MDOT truck and flipped upside down. Sheriff Mike Lee said that he and Joseph Lee were partners during their time with the FPD. Lee said, “We were partners on patrol for two years. He was a good man.”
Sheriff Lee and Coroner Bradford both said that they had seen Joseph Lee only days before his death.
The last fatal accident of the week involved two fatalities and occurred on Thursday, September 21. Two men were killed in the accident, Corley McCorkley of Louisville and Mikel Dywaine Ray of Forest. McCorkley was 39 and Ray was 51. The wreck occurred north of Morton at about 8 p.m. on Highway 13. Sheriff Lee said, “It was a head-on collision between a SUV and a mini-van.”
The Coroner’s Office told The Times that McCorkley was a passenger in the van and that Ray was the SUV’s driver.
Lee said that two occupants of the van, carrying chicken farm workers, were air-lifted to UMC while the rest were taken by ambulance to Scott Regional Hospital. Lee said, “There were a total of nine people in the mini-van.”
Lee expressed his gratitude to the responders to these accidents in the county this week. Lee said, “Each of these wrecks involved MHP, local fire departments, volunteer fire departments, and local EMS. I want to thank them for the help in each of these incidents.”