Mississippi woman crashes into creek, dies during 911 call

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, April 4, 2017

JACKSON (AP) — A Mississippi woman who desperately tried to direct rescuers to her sinking vehicle after it skidded into a rain-swollen creek Monday was among four people killed in storms across the South.

Jacqueline Williams, 52, ran off a road into a creek in Florence early Monday and dialed 911 from the car as it went down, said Rankin County Coroner David Ruth.

Ruth said the woman, who lived in Florence, was trying to relay her location to a dispatcher as the car settled into the swirling waters.

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“She was talking to a 911 dispatcher when the water overtook her,” Ruth said. “She was trying to tell the dispatcher where she was, and she could actually hear the sirens.”

The two lost contact, and Ruth said a swift-water recovery team later found Williams’ body in the creek outside the car.

Florence Police Chief Richard Thomas, speaking to WJTV, said the current where the woman died was fast and strong.

Thomas said authorities got a call from a woman saying her car was being swept off into the water around 4 a.m. Authorities immediately began looking for the woman but couldn’t immediately find her.

“It was quick. It was really quick,” Thomas said.

The woman’s body was eventually recovered, but Thomas said authorities were still waiting for the waters to recede so they can recover the vehicle.

Florence is a small town of about 4,000 people, and Thomas said he knew the woman who died.

“Our kids played baseball together,” he said. “Words don’t describe it. Words don’t describe. They’re really good people. I hate that it happened.”

Greg Flynn, a spokesman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said another woman died in the Delta town of Glendora when strong winds knocked a large tree onto her house Sunday night, and two people died earlier in Louisiana.