Last Thursday, April 18, just minutes after 7 pm, Lowndes County E-911 received several calls concerning a violent wreck on the Hwy 82 Bypass near PACCAR. Witnesses on scene reported that a white car had been hit by an 18-wheeler. Callers also told 911 operators that at least one person in the car had died.
Deputies with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department, two ambulances from Baptist Memorial Hospital — Golden Triangle, Mississippi Highway Patrol Troopers and Lowndes County District 5 volunteer firefighters rushed to the scene. The first responders to arrive at the wreck were greeted by the sight of a white 1992 Ford Crown Victoria that had seemingly been turned inside-out.
Inside the Ford, passenger Taesha Young, 28, clung to life, waiting for medical responders. A second passenger, Angela Dame, 43, did not survive the crash, losing her life in the initial impact.
Paramedics Amy Richardson and Lamar Thompson worked to save Young as firefighters employed the pneumatic pincers (the “Jaws of Life”) to cut away the mangled roof of the Crown Victoria. The responders worked tirelessly to remove the shredded sheet metal, some climbed onto the hood of the car to push the roof while other used ropes and long-handled fire hooks to pull the pieces out of the way. Once the roof was pulled far enough from the victims, the ropes were tied off, leaving the car looking like some twisted modern art sculpture.
With the roof cleared, Richardson and Thompson climbed aboard the vehicle. Haloed in the beam of a nearby floodlight, the responders took turns doing chest compressions on the prone Young. After several minutes, it was determined that Young’s pulse was strong enough to transfer her to one of the waiting ambulances.
Once in the ambulance, Young was rushed to Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle where she later died while undergoing surgery for her extensive injuries.
The driver of the Ford, Antonio “Tony” Gregory, 28, of Columbus told MHP troopers that his car had developed problems while he and his passengers were Eastbound on Highway 82. As the car lost power and slowed, Gregory turned on its emergency flashers to alert other drivers in the falling dusk.
The car was moving at a snail’s pace in the left lane of the highway when it was impacted from behind by an 18-wheeler. The Mack truck, driven by Timothy Webb, 56, for Modular Transportation hit the car at highway speed (70 – 80 mph), crushing the sedan and sending it flying from the roadway. Webb suffered only minor injuries and refused an ambulance on scene. Gregory had no apparent injuries on scene, other than the obvious emotional toll.
[Antonio Gregory’s mother contacted the Packet earlier this week to note her disappointment with the Commercial Dispatch’s version of the events. The Dispatch reporter wrote that Gregory brought his car to a stop in the left lane and exited the vehicle to open the hood and inspect the vehicle’s issues while still parked in the roadway. In fact, Gregory was attempting to get the car onto the left shoulder of the highway. Upon seeing the truck bearing down on his vehicle, Gregory leapt from the car, mere moments before the crash. His passengers were unable to get free of the car. – JD]
Tony Gregory and Taesha Young were in a relationship and were recently engaged. Young and Dame were from Macon.0