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Teenager killed in car wreck near Wesson

An area teenager has been killed in what law enforcement officials suspect was a case of drunk driving.

Eighteen-year-old Seth William Brewer — who graduated from Copiah Academy in 2017 — was a passenger in an automobile being driven by 19-year-old Austin Ragland shortly before 9 p.m. Friday.

According to unofficial reports, Brewer was flung from the vehicle on Anderson Road near Wesson after Ragland lost control of the wheel. The automobile rolled onto Brewer, crushing him to death.

Medical and law enforcement officials arrived shortly after the crash. They did what they could to resuscitate Brewer but to no avail.

“Right now, we’ve got some of the best first responders and deputies that the county has ever had,” Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones said.

Copiah County Coroner Ellis Stuart pronounced Brewer dead at the scene of the accident, and Ragland was transported directly to the Copiah County Jail.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident, and Ragland walked away from the wreck without physical injury.

Officers suspect Ragland’s blood alcohol level was over the legal limit, but the results of an official blood test are still pending. He was charged with a DUI, causing death or injury to another. His bail has been set at $10,000.

As of Monday morning, Ragland remains in custody, but Jones expected him to post bond.

Funeral services for Brewer were held Monday at Stringer Family Chapel in Crystal Springs, and he was buried at the Terry Cemetery.

Jones said this case is particularly troubling, because the circumstances surrounding it could have easily been prevented.

He stressed the importance of seat belt safety, and said that — regardless of whether drunk driving was the cause of Brewer’s death — the community must put forth a greater effort to curb alcohol related road deaths in Copiah County.

“It’s tragic,” he said. “It’s a senseless way to die when you have a seat belt to buckle. And, if drinking was involved, that makes it even worse.”