Update: Trooper involved in two traffic accidents remains in serious condition at UMMC

Published 7:58 pm Sunday, September 11, 2016

A trooper with the Mississippi Highway Patrol who was injured Sunday afternoon on his way to a traffic accident in Bogue Chitto remains stable in serious condition from his injuries at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, authorities said.

“They have been doing a series of tests and keeping a good eye on all his injuries,” said Cpl. Brandon Fortenberry with the MHP.

Fortenberry said the trooper received “a heavy skull fracture along with other injuries.”

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Mitchell Chappell, 27, was on I-55 at 3:48 p.m. in the northbound lane headed to the accident. Fortenberry said he apparently lost control of his cruiser at the 31 mile marker due to the severe weather conditions. At 4:06 p.m., dispatchers lost radio contact with him and other troopers began to try to locate him, he said.

He was found unconscious in the cruiser in a heavy patch of trees, Fortenberry said.

The first trooper on the scene proceeded to take the injured trooper to King’s Daughters Medical Center.

KDMC had three emergency medical services crews working Sunday. Two of the crews were involved in two emergency transfers, said David Culpepper, communications director for KDMS. “The third was available and responded immediately,” he said.

Culpepper said it appears the second trooper didn’t want to wait for the ambulance. “The trooper notified dispatch that he would transport the injured trooper in his vehicle,” he said.

The ambulance was dispatched at 4:23 p.m. Their estimated time on scene was 4:40 p.m. but was cancelled at 4:32 p.m. by Lincoln County dispatch, he said.

On his way to the hospital, the trooper’s car hydroplaned and he lost control of his cruiser about seven miles away on Hwy. 84, Fortenberry said.

After the second accident, another trooper was called and was eastbound on Hwy. 84 near Jackson-Liberty Road when he also hydroplaned because of the weather conditions, he said.

A Lincoln County deputy arrived on the scene of the second accident and took the injured trooper to KDMC, where an ambulance then transported him to UMMC.

Deputies also responded to the initial accident on I-55 near Bogue Chitto that the first trooper was headed to.

Fortenberry did not know the details of that accident.

Fortenberry said he did not know if speed was a factor in the trooper accidents. The accidents remain under investigation by the MHP.

The names of the other two troopers have not been released.