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Wreck kills Lawrence Co. boy, 15

A 15-year-old Jayess boy died from multiple trauma wounds anddrowning after a vehicle accident on Holmesville Road Sunday. Hewas found by his father, who heard the accident occur over a cellphone, officials said.

Devan Glenn Ard, 15, of 12 Reid Circle, the son of Jimmy GlennArd and Deborah Ard Martin, was traveling alone to a friend’s housewhen he apparently lost control of the vehicle, according toLawrence County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Ray Smith.

“We don’t know exactly what happened yet (to cause him to losecontrol),” Smith said.

Lawrence County Coroner Sidney Fortenberry said the boy’s fatherwas able to react instantly to the accident but couldn’t save hisson.

“He was talking to his father on a cell phone when he lostcontrol of the vehicle,” Fortenberry said. “It rolled several timesand ejected him into a pond.”

Jimmy Ard “heard the wreck on the cell phone and then it wentdead,” Fortenberry said. “He tried to call back and couldn’t get ananswer.”

Jimmy Ard knew where his son was going and raced to the scene ofthe accident, Fortenberry said. He discovered Devan Ard was not inthe vehicle and began to search the area for him. He found DevanArd in the pond and pulled him onto the bank as a first responderfrom Topeka Volunteer Fire Department arrived.

“His father managed to find the pond and find him,” Fortenberrysaid. “He and a first responder performed CPR on him before he wastransferred to Lawrence County Hospital, where he was pronounceddead.”

Devan Ard was a student at Lawrence County High School, where hewas an all-star left-handed pitcher for the Cougars baseball team.He was a member of Topeka Baptist Church and was active in theyouth group.

Wilson Funeral Home in Monticello is handling arrangements.

Ard was one of at least four people who died on Mississippi’sinterstates and highways during the Christmas holiday weekend,public safety officials say.

The Highway Patrol said three of the deaths occurred in twowrecks, but the details and names of the victims were not released.The Highway Patrol counts only those fatalities that occur on roadspatrolled by state troopers.

The Highway Patrol reported 180 wrecks with 40 total injuriesfrom 6 p.m. Thursday to midnight Sunday. There were 33drunken-driving arrests during the same period.

The numbers were an improvement from last year.

Six people died in accidents in Mississippi during the Christmasholiday period in 2003, spoiling what officials had hoped would bea continuation of zero fatalities recorded in the previous twoyears.

The Highway Patrol had issued 6,691 tickets in 2003 compared to3,136 this holiday period. Troopers also made 136 drunken-drivingarrests last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.