JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - "Mark was such an amazing person and had so much potential, a phenomenal physician. He was just going to do such amazing things," says Dr. Shannon Pittman Moore, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at University Medical Center.
Moore oversaw Dr. Daniel Mark Pogue's residency at the West Jackson Family Medical Clinic. He would have finished his residency in June.
"He was just here (Wednesday) afternoon and very excited his fiancee was coming to town," Moore says.
But that visit would be cut tragically short. Dr. Pogue was driving a white Chevrolet pickup truck around 10:30 Wednesday night on Old Canton Road. Dr. Lisa Dedousis, a resident in Internal Medicine at Jersey City Medical Center in New Jersey, was his passenger. The two had gotten engaged in December.
Witnesses say a black Mercedes came out of nowhere, slammed into them, and the truck burst into flames. Both occupants were burned beyond recognition.
Police say Karen Irby, 35, was driving the Mercedes. Her 55-year-old husband, Stuart M. Irby, was in the passenger seat. He retired about three years ago from the Stuart C. Irby Company, the landmark electrical supply firm his family founded in Jackson in 1926.
As of Thursday evening, Stuart Irby was in critical condition and Karen Irby was in serious condition at UMC.
Jackson police are currently looking into witness reports that the Mercedes was traveling at high speeds, and a police cruiser had been following it with its blue lights on before turning the lights off and ending the pursuit. Witnesses say the accident happened shortly after that, near The Glen Apartments on Old Canton Road.
Assistant Police Chief Lee Vance explains why an officer might do that.
"Is it a greater risk to follow this vehicle at this high rate of speed or a greater risk to discontinue?" he says. "If this was the case, that could be the reason the officer did deactivate his lights."
Vance said an officer may end a pursuit if he feels the risk of continuing would pose too much danger to other motorists.