Man killed in morning accident

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2006

BEAUREGARD – An early morning accident today claimed the life ofa Hazlehurst man on Highway 51 in Beauregard, officials said.

Mack Cassell, 47, of Hazlehurst, was pronounced dead at 7:30a.m. today at the scene of the accident by the Hardy WilsonMemorial Hospital ambulance crew, said Phil Howard, Copiah Countycoroner.

“He was northbound on 51 and left the road,” said InvestigatorJohnny Bass, with the Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop C. “He nosedived into the ditch.”

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Bass said he was notified around 7:25 a.m. of the accident onHighway 51 just north of Wesson in Beauregard.

Bass said when it appeared Cassell’s vehicle had plunged intothe ditch and that Cassell’s head had went through the windshieldof the car. He was not wearing a safety belt, the investigatorsaid.

The vehicle appeared to be traveling northbound and crossed overand went into the ditch on the opposite side of the road.

“The victim had crawled out of the car,” Bass said.

Howard said he spoke with Cassell’s family members this morningand was told he never came home last night.

“The accident probably happened in the early morning hours,”Howard said. “But I don’t know for sure.”

Howard said he has asked for an autopsy in the case.

Cassell’s older model Chrysler Park Avenue was spotted in theditch off a steep embankment by an early morning passerby who thennotified the Wesson Police Department. WPD Officer James Cameronsaid he then notified the Highway Patrol of the accident.

The Wesson Volunteer Fire Department also responded to assistwith the accident.