Deputy remains unconscious as family members stand vigil

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2004

[2/12/04]Deputy Sheriff Mike Hollingsworth remained unconscious in the intensive care unit at University Medical Center for a fourth day today as family members, including his wife and two children, waited for signs of improvements.

Hollingsworth, 38, was still listed in critical condition after being hit by a car Monday while directing traffic for a funeral procession. Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said there has been no change in Hollings-worth’s condition and that he is still receiving breathing assistance from a ventilator.

“All we can do is wait and pray,” Pace said.

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The 23-year-old man suspected of intentionally running down Hollingsworth was formally charged Tuesday with aggravated assault on a police officer, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Ronald Vaughn, 1402 Mauldin Drive, is being held under a statue that allows a suspect to be confined until the extent of a victim’s injuries is determined.

A motion has also been filed to revoke Vaughn’s 5-year probation from a 1999 shooting into an occupied dwelling, and Vaughn faces additional charges from an armed robbery arrest in September.

Despite being on probation, Vaughn had been released from jail on a $25,000 bond following the arrest in September.

Witnesses said that Vaughn was driving a late-model Buick and sped up to pass the line of cars between Glenwood Funeral Home and Green Acres Memorial Park on U.S. 80. They said Hollingsworth had been out of his patrol car directing traffic when he first motioned for Vaughn to slow down and then to stop.

According to witnesses, the car veered back into the lane where Hollingsworth was standing, hit the deputy sheriff and then spun out of control into a nearby ravine.

Vaughn was taken to River Region Medical Center and was later released to the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, which is conducting the investigation.

Hollingsworth, unconscious since being hit, has been with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department since August 2002. Before then, he was a parole officer with the Mississippi Department of Corrections and had been with the Clinton and Raymond police departments. He began his career as a communication dispatcher with the Jackson Police Department in 1985.