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Meadville man killed in Sunday accident

A Meadville man is dead and a small child hospitalized inJackson after a two-vehicle accident Sunday evening at theintersection of Highway 84 and Jackson Liberty Drive.

Lincoln County Coroner Clay McMorris said Justin Smith, 27,formerly of Brookhaven, was traveling with Amy Rollins, 22, ofMeadville and two small children when there was a collision betweenhis Chevrolet Tahoe and a 1998 GMC Z-71 driven by 18-year-old CaseyWallace of Brookhaven. Smith was pronounced dead on the scene.

Rollins and her two children, Tristin Rollins, 4, and PalynSmith, 5 weeks, were taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center byambulance.

Tristin Rollins was then flown to University of MississippiMedical Center with severe injuries. Amy Rollins and Palyn Smithwere both treated and released from KDMC.

The accident occurred just after 6 p.m., and is the second fatalaccident at the intersection – known as Laird’s Crossing – inroughly two months. A McCall Creek woman died as the result of anaccident at the intersection on May 12.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Sgt. RustyBoyd said it appeared Sunday’s collision came when Wallace’svehicle turned into traffic in front of Smith’s SUV. He said thefact that Laird’s Crossing is such a dangerous intersection meanspeople need to pay extra attention.

“Take your time and worry about that intersection. Pay attentionto where you are and what you’re doing. It is a bad intersection,”he said. “No doubt there are more wrecks than we need, but at thesame time many people safely cross it.”

Other officials said it is not the number of accidents that makethe intersection so treacherous. It is the percentage offatalities, said Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing.

“To me it’s got that little dip in it coming from Natchez towardtown. It’s hard to see from where the stop signs are. It’sdefinitely a dangerous crossing that needs to be addressed,” saidRushing. “From what I understand, in the past MDOT has looked atit, but that was before my administration. But something has to bedone about it.”

McMorris said Laird’s Crossing has been the site of many fatalaccidents during his tenure as coroner, even during the time thatHighway 84 was still two-lane.

“Truthfully, we’ve worked fatalities there too often, and thepeople who have lost loved ones are having a hard time with thefact that nothing is being done about that intersection,” he said.”I think the only way to stop the fatalities there is a four-waystop sign.”

McMorris pointed out the intersection of Highway 84 and EastLincoln Road, which used to be a dangerous intersection aswell.

“We haven’t had one fatal accident there since they put thatfour-way stop in,” he said.

Smith’s arrangements are being handled by Riverwood FamilyFuneral Service and are incomplete.