Accident leaves one dead; two sent to hospital

Published 8:09 pm Friday, March 8, 2013

A collision several miles northwest of Loyd Star Attendance Center Friday morning claimed the life of a local woman and sent two others to the hospital.

Christy Lynn Smith, 39, driving a gray Honda sedan, was killed in a Highway 550 collision with a white Dodge pickup that was reported to authorities at approximately 8:15 a.m. Friday, said Mississippi Highway Patrol authorities.

Smith’s daughter, Mattie Claire Smith, 6, was a passenger in the vehicle and airlifted to Jackson, said Amy Rhoads, a relative of Smith’s by marriage.

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“They have her there as a precaution,” Rhoads said. “They’re just running some tests.”

Speaking from the scene of the accident Friday morning, Captain Chris Williams of MHP also described Mattie Claire Smith’s injuries as non-life threatening.

“She was alert and talking,” Williams said.

The driver of the pickup, Brandy S. Barnett, 36, of Wesson, was also airlifted to Jackson, said Luke Harrington, an accident reconstruction specialist with MHP.

Further details on Barnett’s condition were not immediately available.

Harrington and other troopers were reconstructing the accident Friday morning in order to determine the cause of the wreck but said the investigation remains ongoing.

A Summit man was also driving on Highway 550 at the time and witnessed the accident, Harrington said.

Smith’s residence was on Bouie Mill Road, said officials. Bouie Mill Road intersects with Highway 550 near the scene of the accident.

She’d been a nurse at Brookhaven OB-GYN, said Rhoads, who estimated she’d worked there approximately eight or nine years.

Dr. Stephen Mills, of Brookhaven OB-GYN, spoke fondly of Smith and mourned her tragic loss.

“Christy was a model employee and a wonderful wife and mother,” he said. “She will be missed terribly by all of our employees and patients.”

In addition to Mattie Claire Smith, Rhoads said Smith leaves behind a husband, Kevin, and two sons: Logan, a senior at Loyd Star Attendance Center, and Josh, a student at Mississippi State.

Rhoads didn’t know details of the accident but knew one thing with certainty.

“She was one in a million,” Rhoads said. “I wish more people were like her. She was a loving mother. She was with those kids all those times. A devoted wife.”