Tchula Police Chief one of three fatal accident victims in fiery crash

Tchula Police Chief Anthony Jones (Source: Tchula Police Dept)
Tchula Police Chief Anthony Jones (Source: Tchula Police Dept)

HOLMES COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The State Highway Patrol is investigating an accident on Halloween night that killed three people. The four vehicle wreck occurred Friday on Highway 49 South, just south of Tchula in Holmes County.

Tchula Mayor Zula Patterson confirmed Saturday that Tchula Police Chief Anthony Jones and public works employee, Eugene Whitehead were two of the fatal accident victims in Friday night's crash.

MHP Spokesman Tony Dunn said around 7p.m. Friday, a Ford F-150 was traveling south on U.S. 49. The truck veered to avoid another vehicle driven by Anthony Stweart, 22, that was stopped on the highway, attempting to make a turn. The truck collided with two vehicles headed northbound, and caught fire.

Two of the victims were burned beyond recognition. The State Department of Public Safety hopes to soon identify those individuals through dental records or DNA. 

"I said oh my God, I just went to pieces," said Mayor Patterson.

"When I really found out that was him, I was just devastated about this," said Willie Phillips Jr., an officer at the Tchula Police Department. "I'm going to miss him, he was a good, fair man, he brought me on board and trained me well."

Chief Jones joined the Tchula Police Department in 2008. Saturday evening, officials raised an American flag at half-staff to honor their memory.

"To talk to somebody at 6:15 in the afternoon and later you hear they are gone, that's a hurtful feeling," said Mayor Patterson. "I wouldn't want that to fall on anybody," said Mayor Patterson.

Trooper Dunn says there were two other vehicles involved in the crash. Christopher Lockhart the driver of vehicle number four was air lifted to UMMC with moderate to severe injuries. As of Saturday night, he remains in critical condition.  A passenger in that vehicle Alexis Little, 23, from Yazoo City was killed as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. 

Mr. Little and three passengers 22- year old Alisa Little, 41-year-old Nelo Johnson, and Cheryl Haymer  (age unavailable) all from Yazoo City who were traveling with him in vehicle three were not injured in the accident. 

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident. 

The accident is still under investigation. 

There will be a candlelight vigil Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to remember the victims.

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