Three-vehicle wreck injures woman, 69

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Vicksburg Patrolman Bobby Jones takes notes Tuesday afternoon at the scene of a three-vehicle wreck that injured one woman and tied up traffic on I-20 West for two and a half hours. (The Vicksburg Post/VICTOR SUMERALL)

[08/28/02]One driver was injured Tuesday afternoon in a three-vehicle wreck near the Mississippi River bridge that tied up traffic on Interstate 20 West for two and a half hours.

The wreck occurred as three drivers approached a section of the span being sandblasted for repainting.

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Lt. David Beard of the Vicksburg Police Department said an 18-wheeler driven by Chadwick Deal, 25, El Dorado, Ark., slammed into the back of a 1993 Cadillac Sedan De Ville driven by Effie Curry, 69, of Tallulah. Curry’s car hit a flashing board warning drivers to merge left.

The 18-wheeler then swerved back into the right late, hitting a Ford pickup driven by James Jones, 23, of Tickfaw, La. The pickup was slammed into a guardrail, Beard said.

Deal said he attempted to switch lanes after the Cadillac slammed on its brakes.

“I guess they just panicked,” he said, “I slammed into the other truck, I had nowhere to go.”

Diesel from the 18-wheeler owned by Frank Thompson Co. and hauling asphalt, was spilled on the highway and had to be cleaned up by police, the Vicksburg Fire Department and employees of Texas Bridge Co., the firm sandblasting and painting the bridge.

Clearing the vehicles and the diesel blocked the bridge and traffic backed up six to eight miles on the interstate until after 5:30 p.m. The wreck had been reported at 3:07.

Curry was treated and released from River Region Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said.

The other drivers were not taken to the hospital.

Jones, who was driving the pickup for Bonded Lightning Protection Co., was cited for careless driving, Beard said.

The three-year bridge repainting project is in its second year.