City man dies as car runs 300 feet off bluff

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 30, 2002

Vicksburg Police Lt. David Beard, center, points Sunday morning to where a 1999 Toyota Camry went down the bluff between Washington Street and Riverfront Park, killing Maurice G. Harris of Vicksburg. At left is Warren County Coroner John Thomason. Vicksburg Police Officer William Combs is at right. (The Vicksburg Post/C. Todd Sherman)

[09/30/02]A Vicksburg man died early Sunday when his 1999 Toyota Camry careened off Washington Street and down the bluff to Riverfront Park.

Investigators believe Maurice G. Harris, 28, 222 Sammy Young Road, was driving north between 4 and 5 a.m. when his car left the road opposite the Plaza Motel. There were no known witnesses.

The car rolled and fell about 300 feet down the embankment, landing on the street at Riverfront Park which is a shelf of land on the Mississippi River bank.

“We don’t know where he was coming from, nor where he was going,” Warren County Coroner John Thomason said. “He had applied his brakes and there are skid marks (on Washington Street), but they weren’t long, less than a foot.

“No one else was in the car to our knowledge,” he said. Harris was not wearing a seat belt.

Harris and his car were found about 7:30 Sunday morning by a City of Vicksburg employee opening the park. Thomason estimated the time of death at 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours earlier.

An autopsy was scheduled this afternoon at Mississippi Mortuary in Pearl, Thomason said.

Harris, an employee of VicksMetal for 4 1/2 years until August, had since been employed at Hancor Inc. through Express Personnel Services in Vicksburg.

“It’s a really sad loss,” said Shawn Scott, office manager for the employment firm. “He was one of those kind of guys everybody liked.

“He was a quiet guy, never complained or had much to say about anything,” she said. “You’d give him a job and he’d go for it.”

At Hancor, Harris was a night-shift worker who moved pipes from inside to outside the plant.

He was the only son of Eunice Jackson of Vicksburg and was engaged to be married, Thomason said.

Jefferson Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.