Rankin man dies in wreck on 61N|[07/20/08]

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Rankin County man died Saturday after losing control of his vehicle on U.S. 61 North and being ejected as it flipped off the highway.

Anthony Paul Westcott, 25, 136 Peggy Drive, Florence, was southbound on the four-lane highway’s intersection with Freeman Road when he “apparently ran up on a vehicle going slower than him, swerved to avoid contact and skidded down into the median, at which point he was ejected from the vehicle,” said Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Trooper Kervin Stewart.

First responders found Westcott at 4:28 p.m. in the median about 10 feet from the olive-colored 2001 Ford Explorer he was driving, said Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey. The cause of death, he said, was head and chest trauma.

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“According to witnesses he was going faster than the speed limit,” Stewart said.

Westcott was not wearing a seat belt, said Stewart.

No other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

Westcott’s body was taken to Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Richland.

The fatal wreck was the third in Vicksburg and Warren County this year, and all three have been on U.S. 61 North.

The first was a two-vehicle wreck on Jan. 11 that killed 58-year-old Texarkana, Ark., resident William Ray O’Neal. The second, on July 11, was a two-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of 23-year-old Redwood resident Joseph Kyle Barnett..