The Night The Lights Went Out On Northside
BY COLIN KRIEGER
A violent wreck on 14th Street North left several Columbus residents without power Monday night and police wondering looking for the culprit. Witnesses told police they saw a silver 2006 Nissan Sentra blow through the intersection at 2nd Avenue North and 14th Street and continue south towards Main Street. The sedan, estimated to be travelling at nearly 50 M.P.H., left the roadway near the empty lot adjacent to Atmos Energy before striking a wooden utility pole. The impact was so severe that the pole snapped below the ground, causing two nearby poles to fall as well. The transformer from the main pole crashed to the ground, sending sparks flying and cutting power off to several neighborhoods in and around the area.
Shortly after the car came to rest, 30-year-old Travante Jackson crawled from the wreckage and began to walk north on 14th Street, abandoning his passenger, Felice Settles, in the process. Several witnesses to the wreck said that they attempted to stop Jackson as he stumbled away from the scene. Witnesses told The Packet that Jackson was bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth and was incoherent as he headed east on 2nd Avenue North.
Columbus Police swarmed the area to search for Jackson as paramedics and utility workers arrived on scene. Felice Settles was inspected on scene and found to have only suffered bumps and bruises. Police were able to run a background check on Jackson and determined that he was likely headed to his home on 12th Avenue North. Armed with that information, Lt. Oscar Lewis and Sgt. Terrie Songer narrowed the search area and closed in on the suspect.
Lewis was the first to catch a glimpse of the fugitive as he slipped through an alleyway by 17th Street North and 4th Avenue. Jackson then crossed some nearby railroad tracks, making his way to 7th Avenue before heading North on 18th Street. Songer and Lewis surrounded Jackson in the 800 block of 18th St. North and the suspect quickly surrendered.
“Ya got me, ya got me,” Jackson moaned. ” I ain’t runnin’ now.”
Jackson was quickly handcuffed while an ambulance made its way to the area. Jackson attempted to tell an incoherent version of the wreck, but was unable to speak clearly, either from his maxillofacial wounds or from his apparent inebriation. Jackson’s mother arrived on scene just before the ambulance and began grilling her son about the wreck.
“What’d you do to my car,” she asked. “What did you do, boy?”
“I’m sorry, mama,” Jackson cried. “That girl was robbin’ me. She was takin’ my money.”
“Who? Who did this to you,” his mother asked.
“Uhhhhhhggggggg,” he cried out. “Felishaaaaaa. You know her.”
“Hurumph,!” his mother barked. “Ya’ll messed up my car. MY PROPERTY.”
“She robin’ me, mom,” Jackson bellowed. “That’s why I wrecked and all…she robbed me!”
“Unnggg! Whatever,” she said. “Take him off. Take him to jail. He needs it. Just got out, now ya goin’ back in! Lord!”
Paramedics from Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle arrived and examined Jackson on scene, eventually placing him on a gurney and transporting him to the hospital. Jackson reportedly injured his knee and jaw in the wreck and was tested for alcohol consumption upon arrival at the hospital. He was later arrested and charged w/ driving under the influence and leaving the scene. As of press time Wednesday, he was still in custody at the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center.
Todd Gale, general manager of Columbus Light and Water, said three light poles, one transformer and several wires and cross arms were destroyed in the wreck. He estimated the total damage was in excess of $4000. Jackson’s mother reportedly had the car insured.
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