Carjacker, 2nd driver both killed in collision

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 28, 2005

An alleged carjacker and a McComb man were killed Wednesdaynight in a head-on collision two miles west of Tylertown on Highway48.

Floyd Washington, 30, of New Orleans, was traveling east onHighway 48 in a stolen 2004 Mitsubishi sport utility vehicle whenhe crossed the center line and struck westbound traveler Keith J.Johnson, 26, of McComb, head on around 8:45 p.m., said Staff Sgt.Rod Crawford, public affairs officer for Mississippi Highway PatrolTroop M. Johnson was driving a 1986 Toyota pickup. Both driverswere pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash ended a Highway Patrol search for the Mitsubishi,registered to an Olin, N.C., address. The search lasted nearly anhour and a half, Crawford said.

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Shortly after 7 p.m., Washington pulled into the Pike CountyWelcome Center on Interstate 55, Crawford said, and approached asecurity guard to complain of vehicle trouble.

“He then requested to use the restroom and used the phone tocall 911, complaining that someone was either following or chasinghim,” Crawford said.

Washington then overpowered the security guard after thetelephone call and took his weapon, Crawford said. The identity ofthe security guard is being withheld during the investigation.

The security guard’s weapon, Crawford said, was then used incarjacking the Mitsubishi SUV from a mother and her infant child,whose identities are also being withheld.

Washington fled the welcome center traveling south in thenorthbound lanes of I-55.

The mother and child were not injured during the incident. Thesecurity guard sustained a minor injury during the confrontation,Crawford said.

“The welcome center was going to be a meeting point for themother and child and the husband, who did arrive later,” hesaid.

Laura Bundy, of North Carolina, who in an e-mail to The DAILYLEADER claimed to be a relative of the carjacked family, said thefamily dog, Gabby, was in the SUV when it was carjacked. Themother’s request to remove the dog before the carjacker drove offwas denied, Bundy said. At the scene of the accident, she said, thedog’s safety harness was found unclamped and there was no sign ofthe dog.

Crawford said he was unable to comment about Gabby because ofthe ongoing investigation.

The crash was one of four fatal crashes statewide on publichighways between noon Wednesday and midnight Thursday, Crawfordsaid. Three other people were killed in accidents on ThanksgivingDay –¬†one each in the Greenwood, Batesville and Starkvilledistricts.

There were three other accidents in the Troop M district,resulting in two injuries. Troop M issued a total of 172 citationsduring the period for 131 hazardous violations, 33 nonhazardousviolations, six DUIs and two drug arrests.

Troopers statewide issued 928 hazardous violations, 281nonhazardous violations, 16 DUIs, 11 seat belt violations and fivechild-restraint violations and made four drug arrests and onefelony arrest.

Ginns Funeral home, of Tylertown, is handling arrangements forWashington, while Johnson-Hartman Funeral Home, of Tylertown, ishandling arrangements for Johnson.