Head-on collision in Collins caught on camera

Published: Jul. 17, 2012 at 3:33 PM CDT|Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 at 1:33 AM CST
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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The video was shot July 8 by a driver heading North along Highway 49 in Collins. In it, you can see another vehicle was heading North as well, except in the Southbound lanes.

Collins police chief Ronnie Dickinson says the wrong way speeding driver was Edward Fairley of Mount Olive, and it's a scene more common than he'd like.

"Unfortunately, we see that all the time. It's not just the state of Mississippi, it's all over," Dickinson said.

Reports claim Fairley was going the wrong way for miles, as unsuspecting drivers ran off the road to avoid being hit.

"He's going to hurt someone severely bad," said a voice on the video.

As Fairley picks up speed he collides with a Ford SUV right in his path. The driver of the SUV, Amy Cox of Waveland and a young female passenger both walked away from the crash. Fairley was taken to the hospital with a broken shoulder and non-life threatening injuries.

Dickinson says luckily the SUV did manage to veer slightly, avoiding a direct head on collision.

Master Sergeant John Poulos with the Mississippi Highway Patrol says the roadways can be a dangerous place, especially in cases like this.

"It's just a matter of time before we're going to encounter a crash and hopefully not loss of life," Poulos said.

Poulos says the best practice for drivers in this type of situation would be to get out of the way, but that only works if you have time.

"The human perception and reaction time is really not that fast and as you watch the video there's not really a lot of evasive movement from the driver trying to avoid this crash and that's because of the time frame," Poulos said.

Poulos says distractions in the SUV could have also played a role if the driver didn't realize there was an oncoming car. As the crash plays out on YouTube, Poulos says there could have been another one, involving the driver filming the ordeal.

"We can use this as an educational tool, but this same situation could have been deadly with the driver that was filming because he's not focused on the roadway himself," Poulos said.

Both Poulos and Dickinson say the scene may have had fortunate outcomes, but that won't always be the case.

"Make sure you pay attention when you're driving and keep your eye on the road," Dickinson said.

Fairley told police he doesn't remember anything. Fairley was charged with reckless driving and no proof of insurance. Additional charges are pending toxicology results from the hospital.

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