Student, city man killed in Hwy. 84 wreck

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 30, 2001

A West Lincoln High School senior and a Brookhaven man werekilled in a head-on collision shortly before midnight Friday onHighway 84 west, authorities said.

Derrick W. Havard, 19, of 2566 Bogue Chitto Road, and Robert E.Connley, 41, of 306 Bluebird Trail, were pronounced dead at thescene at 12:15 a.m. Saturday, said Lincoln County Coroner MorrisHenderson.

The accident happened around 11:28 p.m. Friday about two mileswest of Brookhaven in the west bound lane of Highway 84. Connley’sMercury Cougar was traveling east and collided with Havard’s Fordpickup truck.

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“They hit head on,” Henderson said, adding that no one else wasinvolved in the accident.

The Brookhaven Fire Department’s Jaws of Life were needed forboth vehicles.

“They had to cut the tops off both vehicles to get them out,”said Carl Brown, Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper.

Addressing speculation that alcohol was involved, Brown said nocontainers were present but there was a smell of alcohol evident atthe scene. He said an investigation is continuing and autopsies andblood tests have been ordered.

“We’ll have to wait for the results to come back from the crimelab before we know for sure,” Brown said.

Brown said a motorist telephoned the highway patrol at 11:26p.m. Friday to report Connley’s traveling the wrong way on thehighway. Trooper Jeffrey James responded to the call and arrived atthe scene one minute after the accident was reported, Brownsaid.

Havard, the son of Terry and Angie Havard, was scheduled tograduate in May, officials said. Friday’s accident was the thirdfatal accident during the current school year involving a WestLincoln student.

Services for Havard are 2 p.m. Monday at Gum Grove BaptistChurch with burial in Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery.

Visitation is Sunday, April 29, from 4-9 p.m. at HarrigillFuneral Home.

Services for Connley, under the direction of Williams’ Mortuary,are incomplete.