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Violent Wreck Leaves Popular Local Teen in Critical Condition

A Victory Christian Academy student remains in critical condition after a wreck in Lowndes County last Thursday night.

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.

Ray Herrington is checked for spinal injuries

Henry Johnson is secured to a backboard before being taken to an ambulance

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10 comments

  1. Please continue to pray for Marcus and his family! My profile pic shows our VCA cheerleaders praying for him at their CCA competition. Marcus is an awesome kid! Students and teachers love him dearly!

  2. Skew2

    Tarlton Road and Fire Tower Road are very dangerous as they cross Hyway 45. As south bound traffic on 45 crosses the railway bridge, it is difficult to see for any length of time by someone at Fire Tower Road. You look each direction and in that time a vehicle on 45 can be very close. There was a WCBI news report about the Fire Tower Road.

    I had a near-death experience on Fire Tower Road in broad daylight. East bound on Fire Tower Road, I came to 45 intersection, stopped, looked to left, then to right and it was clear. But in the time that I looked to the right, a large 18 wheel tanker truck came barreling over hill heading south. I had pulled out into 45 to make a left (north) turn. He served into left lane and barely missed me, horn blaring. It was a close miss. I still think about it.

    At the least warning flashing, lights are needed at both Tarlton and Fire Tower Road.

  3. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    That’s what happens when you allow State’s “cow college” engineers at MDOT to design modern highways! The Firetower Road-HiWay 45 Alt. intersection is of worse design than the “cow college” death trap south of Jackson where I-65 southbound traffic blindly merges into the I-20 eastbound traffic. The Firetower intersection is a “deathtrap” waiting to be tripped.

    And just think what danger awaits farmers hauling soybeans to the local grain elevator, as they attempt to cross that intersection.

    But in MDOT’s infinite wisdom, they chose NOT to route Firetower Road under HiWay 45.

    Added to the problem is MHP lax(non-existent for log trucks) enforcement of the speed laws. Someone must be on the “take,” don’t you think?

    In the days before MDOT cleared all the timber from road intersections( on the idea that it increased visibility) drivers were forced to breakdown and approach an intersection with caution. Today, the lawbreakers see aproaching traffic and hit passing gear to cross that Tarlton Rd. Intersection.

    Flashing lights will do nothing at Tarlton Rd. intersection, just as the flashing lights have done nothing to keep the lawbreakers from driving around the M&O railroad crossing in the Town of Crawford

    The Sun-Herald did a four-part series hatchet job on MDOT a few years back. It was well-deserved.

  4. Spectator

    My, my, my….JohnnyPhillipMorris has more sense than all of the citizens of Lowndes County combined..LIE!! Why don’t you run for mayor, police chief, etc…or maybe manager of MDOT since you THINK you can do a much better job than everyone else. You can’t have a companion…there’s no way possible!! If you did, you wouldn’t have all of this time on your hands to comment on every single story on The Columbus Dispatch’s website or know everything that’s in the news, newspapers..what’s happening here, there, & everywhere. Nag, nag, nag…Never anything good or positive!! You are quite pathetic in my book…

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