Weekend accidents claim two

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Authorities said two Brookhaven residents survived a SimpsonCounty crash that took the life of a New Hebron man Saturday night,while a Copiah County man also died in a Friday night one-caraccident.

Mississippi Highway Patrol officials said 55-year-old MauriceGaskin and his wife Betty Ruth Gaskin were traveling on Highway 13south of Mendenhall when their 2006 Ford pickup truck collided withthe 2001 Ford Mustang driven by William Mullins, 30, of NewHebron.

“Mr. Mullins was killed instantly,” said Simpson County CoronerTerry Tutor. “It’s apparent he was in the middle of the road andthey hit him broadside. I don’t know why.”

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Officials at the Simpson County Sheriff’s Department said they andthe Mississippi Highway Patrol had accident reconstructionists whoworked the scene, but neither were available for comment. But Tutorsuggested Mullins may have been trying to turn around when theaccident occurred.

“I think (Mullins) just missed his turn and was turning around -there’s a little road right there to turn on – and he backed intothe highway and the truck crested the hill and hit him broadside,”Tutor said. “There was nowhere to go.”

A spokesperson from the University of Mississippi Medical Centersaid Betty Ruth Gaskin is listed at UMC, but her condition was notavailable. Maurice Gaskin was not injured in the accident.

Tutor said officials are working to determine if weather was afactor in the crash.

Mullins’ funeral will be held Tuesday. Arrangements are withSalters Moore Funeral Home in Prentiss, Tutor said.

Meanwhile, a Copiah County man was also killed in a one-car crashFriday night on Deason Road, which runs off Monticello Road andMartinsville Road, said Copiah County Coroner Ellis Stuart.

Stuart said Thomas H. Wilson, 23, of Hazlehurst was pronounced deadat the scene, which was just north of Wesson. He said the accidentoccurred around 7 p.m. Friday.

Stuart confirmed that Wilson, who was alone and not wearing aseatbelt, lost control of the Jeep Cherokee he was driving and hitsome trees.

Funeral services, which were held Monday, were handled by StringerFuneral Home.