A rollover wreck on the Highway 82 Bypass brought several Lowndes County emergency agencies rushing to the Tenn-Tom River Bridge at 3:30 Saturday morning.
Lowndes County E-911 initially received a call that a vehicle had driven off the highway near the river, rolling down the embankment. Subsequent calls stated that the man inside was initially unresponsive. The caller then said that the occupant of the truck climbed out through the driver’s side window and attempted to hide in the woods near the truck’s tailgate.
Columbus Police arrived at the wreck with Fire and Rescue close behind. [The site of the crash is outside CPD jurisdiction, but Lowndes County Sheriffs were otherwise busy with a situation near CAFB. – JD] At the ruined Ford F-150, they found Stephen Cory Jourdan, 32, bleeding and acting very agitated.
According to Jourdan: “Some friends of mine called me and said, ‘We’re going to Cowbells tonight, meet us at Cowbells.’ They told me, ‘There’s cops everywhere, so be careful.’ I said, ‘Look,when I get there, I’m gonna call a cab ride home to Columbus. [Jourdan points to Starkville – JD] Or I’m gonna get somebody to drive me home. So, yeah, so I get up in there man, and I’m there for about two and a half hours. I drank five shots and six or seven beers. I’m sittin’ there and I leave. I found, uh, two people in there. I found some young guys in there that had X’s on their hands, which means they’re not drinking. So, I said, ‘Hey, any of ya’ll going to Columbus?’ and they said, ‘Yeah, we are.’ I said , ‘Look, I got $20 dollars if ya’ll will drive me to Highway 45 N at Donut Factory.’ [Points to Starkville again] Man, I have no idea where I’m at. I been drinkin’ but I was not driving. I said, ‘Get me to Highway 45 N at Donut Factory and I can get home, cause I live right there behind KMart right there.’ They said they could do that, so I gave that guy $20 bucks, man. I get in my truck, man. I, uh, I lean my seat back right there, man. The front passenger seat. I’m sittin’ there, man and I’m just laid back, man, and the next thing I know, man, I’m bouncing in my truck. I get out, man, I get out, man, I mean, uh, I get out, man, and I’m trying to find this dude, like ‘Where you at man?’ and he’s gone. I never saw him again.”
The person who called 911 said that he was in front of Jourdan’s truck when it ran off the road. He immediately went back to check on the driver, and said he saw no one else around the truck. The samaritan (who asked to remain unnamed) also told officers that Jourdan asked him to leave because he was drunk.
When available, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Nabors arrived on scene to relieve CPD Officers who were still standing by at the wreck.
Shortly after, a Mississippi Highway Patrol Officer arrived to take control of the scene and arrest Jourdan. Stephen Jourdan was charged with DUI – 3rd Offense, Suspended Driver’s License and No Insurance.
[After I had been on scene for about half an hour, taking photos the entire time, Jourdan finally noticed that I was there and started asking me to leave him out of The Packet. He asked me to delete my photos, saying that he had ‘a government job at the Air Force base’ and that he’d be fired if he was in The Packet. He said, “I moved up here from Biloxi three years ago and my grandma told me, ‘Whatever you do, don’t get put in The Packet.’”
He asked, “Can you just hit the erase button on those pictures?” Nope. “Son of a gun.” He even asked officers to have me delete the photos. When that didn’t work, he started name dropping. “Man, you know Carrie Jourdan? That’s my aunt right there, man. I’ll talk to Carrie and ask her to take those off there. If I was in West Point, I’d be alright man. Laddie Huffman, that’s my uncle.”
He also called and came by the Packet office several times Wednesday. Jourdan begged us to leave him out of the paper, saying that he was going into alcohol rehab. [When that didn’t work, he brought out the old standby “I’ll call my lawyer.” – JD] Jourdan lost his sandals while crawling from the wreck. He said he also lost his cell phone in the wreck, but he had half of his cell phone case in his hand and the other half in his pocket.3