Two dead, three hurt in wreck

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Two people were killed and three seriously injured during a highspeed chase with law officers Tuesday night, authorities said.

Toribio “Torry” Murillo, 21, of 300 Cannon Trail, Bogue Chitto,died at the scene when his car struck a tree on Calvary Road around11:15 p.m. Passenger Andrew Gitzen, 15, address unknown, diedseveral hours later at the University Medical Center in Jackson,said Coroner-Medical Examiner Morris Henderson.

Larry Rutland, 22, Jeff Berryhill, 19, and Julie Sivils, 17,other passengers in Murillo’s 1999 Pontiac Grand Am, weretransferred to UMC where they remained Wednesday morning. Rutlandand Berryhill were in critical but stable condition while Sivilswas listed as stable, UMC officials said.

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Sheriff Lynn Boyte said the incident began “as a dispute betweentwo sets of kids in town in the parking lot of Stage.”

The altercation was broken up by Brookhaven police officers.Later, however, the sheriff’s office was notified that the incidentwas continuing at the home of a female juvenile.

“We got a call … saying that these people were at her house onBig Creek Drive throwing objects at her house,” Boyte said

The nature of the objects being thrown was not clear, hesaid.

Deputy Sambo Pepper responded to the scene.

“He met the car just as he got to the house, and he radioedanother unit who was just up the road,” Boyte said.

The other unit, with Deputies Mike Milholen and Brent Fisher,parked their vehicle between the area where the suspects’ vehiclewas first spotted and McCaffery Trail. The suspects’ vehicleapproached.

“The car pulled up there as if to stop, but they gassed it andwent around the unit,” Boyte said.

The vehicle turned onto McCaffery Drive and officers pursuedabout 300 yards behind. They were traveling at “a high rate ofspeed” down the hilly country road, and the driver apparently didnot see a stop sign at the top of a hill where McCaffery Drivejoins Calvary Drive, Boyte said.

“They were going real fast and never touched their brakes,”Boyte said, citing information received from the officers inpursuit.

The vehicle went airborne across Calvary Drive and struck alarge tree, bursting into flames at 11:14 p.m.

The three deputies, along with Mississippi Highway PatrolTroopers Johnny Leggett and Josh Leggett, pulled the passengersfrom the vehicle, but the driver was pinned. The Jaws of Life hadto be used to remove him.

Henderson pronounced Murillo dead at the scene at 11:30 p.m.Gitzen was pronounced dead at UMC Wednesday at 3:10 a.m.

Henderson said Murillo’s and Gitzen’s bodies were taken toBrookhaven Funeral Home. Arrangements are incomplete.