A father and son are dead after the motorcycle they were driving crashed into a car Saturday afternoon on Highway 12 near Columbus Nissan. The accident happened around 2:30 p.m.
According to Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant, John Bryant, 41, was pronounced dead at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle after he was transferred to the hospital from the wreck scene by ambulance. Merchant said John Bryant died from blunt force trauma. Bryant’s son, Kobe Bryant, 12, was initially taken to BMH-GT by ambulance and then airlifted to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Merchant said Kobe Bryant died just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at UMC.
The fatal crash occurred shortly after someone allegedly riding with the Bryants had also been involved in a crash, less than a mile from the scene of Bryant’s accident.
According to police reports, Andrew Fowler said he was turning left from Tuscaloosa Road (Highway 50) on to Highway 12 when a car ran the red light at the intersection and hit his mo
torcycle. A witness to the accident said the vehicle, registered to Jaylon and Layla Lewis, then turned into Dutch Village at the intersection of Highway 12 and Highway 50 and the driver of the vehicle fled the scene on foot, leaving four children unattended. The police report does make menion of the account, but no charges have been filed against the vehicle’s owners. The report says the driver of the vehicle, a silver 2010 Ford Taurus, had fled the area before an officer with the Columbus Police Department arrived on scene.
Fowler was wearing his helmet and he was not injured. Fowler was riding motorcycles with John and Kobe Bryant and “Buzzy” at the time of the accident.
The group was attempting to regroup after Fowler’s accident, heading north on Highway 12 when a southbound late model Pontiac Grand Prix, driven by Santel Blair, attempted to turn into the car wash near Columbus Nissan. John Bryant’s motorcycle, on which Kobe Bryant was a passenger, hit Santel Blair’s vehicle as she attempted to turn into the car wash.
Both of the Bryants were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.
While no charges were filed against Blair, CPD Commander of Investigations Brent Swan said the case will be presented to the grand jury.
“The accident is still under investigation,” Swan said. “The facts and circumstances of the accident will be presented to a grand jury and it will be the grand jury’s responsibility to decide if wrongdoing occurred.”
John Thomas Bryant, 41, of Caledonia passed away Saturday, December 13, 2014 at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus.
Visitation was held Wednesday, December 17, 2014 from 3:00 6:00 p.m. at Lowndes Funeral Home. A funeral service followed at 6:00 p.m. in the Lowndes Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Steve Brown officiating and Lowndes Funeral Home directing.
Mr. Bryant was born May 5, 1973 in Harvey, LA to William “Bill” Tipton Bryant, Sr. and Barbara Ann Taylor Bryant. He moved to Lowndes County ten years ago from New Orleans, LA. Mr. Bryant worked for Steel Dynamics for the past 7 1/2 years and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and the Mississippi National Guard. He was of the Baptist faith and he enjoyed riding motorcycles, weight lifting, camping, shooting sports, golf, and flying.
Mr. Bryant is survived by his wife, Brandy Ray Bryant, Caledonia, MS; parents, William “Bill” Tipton Bryant and Barbara Ann Taylor Bryant, Columbus, MS; children, Lindsey Bryant, Jason Bryant and Kobe Bryant all of Columbus, MS; sisters,Theresa Bryant Hendrix and Sandra Lavergne both of Columbus, MS and a brother, B. J. (Denise) Bryant, Jr. , New Orleans, LA; host of nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers were Phillip J. Padlan, Mitch Olsen, Shay Dodson, Drew Toler, Levi Williams, Stan Smith, Les Wright and Jon Guyton. Honorary pallbearers will be Marc Rhule, AJ Ray, Will Garrison, B. J. Bryant, Jacob Grijalva, Kye Vansomeren, “The Uncountable Number of Friends Throughout The Years, You Know Who You Are” and “The Melt Shop Crew.”
Arrangements for Kobe Bryant were incomplete at press time.