A woman is in critical condition after her car left the road and crashed into a utility pole last week.
Just before 7 p.m. last Thursday, Lowndes County E-911 received several phone calls about a one-vehicle accident on Nashville Ferry Road. According to callers, a grey car was wrapped around a light pole in the 1800 block, just north of Burns Road.
The first responders on scene were Lowndes County Deputies Scott Perkins and Ivan Bryan. In a field on the east side of the road, the deputies found a Mitsubishi Galant with its passenger doors wrapped around a utility pole. The only occupant of the vehicle was Carmelia Collins of 2845 Nashville Ferry Road.
Collins was unresponsive, having lost consciousness in the crash. The deputies kept a check on her pulse and repeatedly tried to revive the woman while they waited for medical responders to reach the scene. When the first volunteers from District 3 arrived, Collins was not breathing and had no discernible pulse. The volunteers and the Baptist Memorial Hospital EMTs that followed close behind them scrambled to free the driver from her car so they could help her.
In short order, the rescuers had Collins out of the vehicle and on a backboard. They hurriedly carried her approximately 25 yards to a waiting ambulance.
Once inside the ambulance, the EMTs worked steadily on the unresponsive woman while they waited for a CareFlight helicopter which had been dispatched from North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
A section of Nashville Ferry Road was blocked off with emergency vehicles for the helicopter to land as the field was too wet from a recent rain to support its weight. The CareFlight crew landed at the wreck 20 minutes later, at 7:40 p.m. After a short stay, Carmelia Collins was transferred from the ambulance to the waiting bird. Collins was quickly flown to NMMC – Tupelo for treatment.
At press time, Carmelia Collins is still in the Critical Care ward at NMMC-Tupelo.
The cause of the wreck is still under investigation, but the severe damage that the Galant suffured indicates that speed may have been a factor. Also, as previously noted, the road was wet from rain that had fallen less than an hour before the accident. It could be seen where the car first went off the right side of the road and hit a patch of gravel before losing control and sliding into the field. [While I was on scene, I also noticed fresh deer tracks in the soft earth near the roadway, so it's possible that Collins was swerving to avoid the animals as she made her way home. According to nearby residents, it's not uncommon to see a lot of wildlife in that area after a storm. - JD]
A woman that lives in the area said she came outside because she saw all the emergency vehicles. She said, “The last time there were that many firetrucks and police cars was when they found that body down at the river.” [She was referring to an incident near the end of September, 2011 when the body of Alfonzo Lathan, Jr. was discovered at a boat ramp in Luxapalila Park following his grisly murder. - JD] When a comment was made that it was lucky there was no one walking down the road at the time of the wreck, she answered, “Everybody around here pretty much knows better than to walk out here. People come flying through here all the time.”