Marcus Sims, a prominent football and basketball player in Columbus, was crossing Highway 45 Alt at Tarlton Road just after 8:00 pm. No blame is being given for the wreck, but his attempt to cross the highway put Sims’ Acura 3.2 TL directly in the path of two pickups that were travelling south on 45 Alt. One truck was able to swerve away from the car, but the second was unable to avoid the collision, hitting the Acura directly in the passenger side doors. This sent the car spinning and threw the truck into a series of rolls.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene after a frantic call to Lowndes County E-911. The crews (with the help of many of the community who turned out to help), quickly worked to extricate all involved from their vehicles. The crumpled passenger doors were pulled from Sims’ car and tossed aside. District 5 Volunteer Firefighters climbed into the car from both sides and freed Sims from the tangled wreck.
Marcus Sims was secured to a backboard in a full spinal package and removed from the car to a waiting stretcher. On the gurney, the group (several times) lifted Sims up onto his side so that he could spit out blood without choking.
Sims was loaded into a waiting ambulance and rushed to the hospital where he was stabilized before being airlifted to North MS Medical Center – Tupelo for further help.
When contacted Wednesday afternoon, Sims’ father, Earl Blunt, said that Marcus was still in the Intensive Care Unit. He is being kept sedated while his injuries are taken care of. His dad said that Marcus is “Still hanging in there.” Blunt and Marcus’ mother, Lashunda McCarter wanted to say that they. “Really appreciate the emergency workers that got Marcus out of the wreck and to help.” They also thank everyone for their love, help, prayer and concerns since the wreck.
The truck that collided with Sims was part of a work crew (with the other truck that was running along with it) from Pensacola, FL. The occupants, driver Ray Herrington and passenger Henry Johnson were pulled from their truck and taken to the hospital in full spinal packages, but suffered no life-threatening injuries.
The work crew, of Pensacola Concrete Construction Company had been doing some underground utility work in Columbus. They had just topped off their trucks with gas [I’m told about $100.00 per truck. – JD] and were headed south for a weekend at home when the accident occured.
As the trucks neared the intersection, the view between themselves and the car was obstructed and neither saw the other until it was too late to stop. The trucks, being heavily loaded with tools, were unable to do much to avoid the wreck. After the impact, Herrington’s truck rolled several times, sending tools flying in every direction. The recently purchased fuel permeated the surroundings, leaving the smell of gas hanging over the wreck site. After the men were absconded to nearby medical facilities, the remaining work crew started the tedious task of collecting the scattered tools.0