Colin Krieger/The Packet
A Columbus woman who was hurt in a violent wreck Friday afternoon succumbed to her injuries early Sunday morning. Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant said that 90-year-old Pearl Mae Watson died from multiple traumas to her body suffered in the accident. Witnesses told the Mississippi Highway Patrol that Watson was travelling east on Jess Lyons Road when she ran the stop light at the intersection at Highway 45 North at about 3 p.m. Friday. Watson’s Buick Century struck the rear wheels of a northbound 2006 International Dumptruck. The collision crushed the entire engine compartment of the sedan, which was dragged by the truck for nearly 40 feet. Investigators believe the diminutive Watson, who was wearing her seatbelt, was thrown first forward, then violently towards the passenger’s seat by the initial impact and subsequent sideways motion.
Witnesses said that the first person on scene was Air Force Officer Parker Herrington, who reportedly squeezed into the driver’s compartment to tend to Watson. Herrington, according to witnesses, gently stabilized Watson, holding her neck in place for nearly ten minutes until she was placed in a neckbrace by first responders. District 2 volunteers working the accident said that Herrington helped calm Watson, who had suffered severe injuries to both her arms and legs. Volunteers, along with paramedics from Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, placed Watson into a waiting ambulance in which she was transported to the hospital in serious condition. Watson battled for her life through Friday and Saturday nights, eventually passing away early Sunday morning. Relatives of Watson told WCBI that she was on her way home from the beauty parlor to her East Columbus home.
The driver of the dump truck, 43-year-old Christopher Langford of Sulligent, had the right of way and was not cited in the accident.
Watson passed away August 10, 2014, at Baptist Memorial Hospital. Funeral services were held Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at Gunter and Peel Chapel with Rev. Danny Avery officiating. Mrs. Watson was born January 4, 1924, in Waco, TX, to the late Willie and Anna Hankins McNees. She worked as a clothing inspector for many years and was a member of Canaan Baptist Church. Mrs. Watson loved her family and friends and was dedicated to helping others. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Roscoe H. Watson, Jr., and her six brothers and sisters. Survivors include her daughter, Bettie Watson Miley and her husband Sam of Gonzales, LA, two grandchildren, Richard Miley and Robert Miley, and five great grandchildren.. Pallbearers will be family and friends. Memorials may be made to Canaan Baptist Church, 1008 Lehmberg Rd., Columbus, MS, 39702.