Wreck on Culkin kills Vicksburg father, 28|[08/25/2008]

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 25, 2008

A pickup left Culkin Road at Springview Drive early this morning and the 28-year-old driver later died, authorities said.

John M. McClellan of 403 Belva Drive was pronounced dead of head and chest injuries at 4:34 a.m. at River Regional Medical Center, said Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey.

McClellan, who held two jobs in Vicksburg, was en route home from visiting a friend when the accident occurred, said his wife, Maggie.

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The call to the 911 Dispatch Center came at 1:24 a.m. and response personnel initially had difficulty finding the wreck.

“The truck was apparently traveling at a very high rate of speed,” said Sheriff Martin Pace, adding that the accident report was incomplete.

On reaching the scene, Sgt. Mike Marshall looked for signs of the wreckage, Pace said, until he found tire marks on the grassy shoulder, followed them and found the pickup. The truck evidently was airborne for a distance, landed in the backyard of a nearby home, passed through the yard and went down a steep grade.

After removing McClellan from the 2007 Chevrolet, crews used a rescue basket to pull McClellan up from the ravine.

The Wesson native was devoted to his family, Maggie McClellan said, noting he worked the two jobs to provide for them and loved spending time with his 5-year-old daughter. “He worked those long hours to take care of his family,” she said. “I most want people to know that he was a good family man.”

Pace said a blood test will be taken as part of the post-mortem exam. Results will be reported back to the coroner’s office in six to eight weeks.

McClellan, who graduated from Wesson High School in Copiah County, was the son of Wayne and Ann McClellan. He had been employed at DiamondJacks since November 2006 and at Hancor since February 2007, his wife said. They celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary in May.

“He enjoyed watching sports – anything to do with sports – but mostly anytime he was off he liked spending time with his daughter.” They often went to the library, enjoying reading together, and to art and natural science museums, she said. A family vacation was planned for next month.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

This is the third fatal accident in Warren County this year. One fatal accident has occurred within the city limits in 2008.