Mother of two dies in I-20 wrec

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 17, 2008

From staff reports

A Port Gibson woman died early this morning, hours after being thrown from her car as she drove on Interstate 20 behind an ambulance taking her husband to a Jackson hospital.

Latasha Woodard, 30, U.S. 61 in Port Gibson, was pronounced dead about three hours after the 12:33 a.m. wreck just west of Bovina, said Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey. He said she died from head and body trauma.

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Woodard, the mother of two daughters, ages 1 and 2, was following the emergency vehicle that was driving her husband, Daryl Woodard of Port Gibson to University Medical Center in Jackson, where he was to be treated for a long-time bout with high blood pressure and its effects, said Selina Crawford of Port Gibson, Mrs. Woodard’s mother, who works in Vicksburg.

Crawford said her daughter, a 10-year employee of Taco Bell in Vicksburg, was talking on a cell phone to her sister in Jackson when her car flipped just west of Bovina.

“She told her sister that she’d put air in her tire, but it was thumping on the highway,” Crawford said.

“When her husband has had to go in the hospital before, my daughter had to have her car in Jackson to get around,” Crawford said, “so she was following the ambulance.”

Warren County Sgt. Bubba Comans, who was the first investigator on the scene, said Woodard was driving a Ford Explorer in the eastbound lanes when the vehicle flipped and threw her to the shoulder of the road, Sheriff Martin Pace said. It was not known if she was wearing a seat belt, Pace said.

The Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol trooper who investigated the accident was not available.

Crawford described her daughter this morning as “a very obedient and Christian child who always worked really hard.”

Crawford said Woodard, who would have celebrated her 31st birthday next week, was also a preacher in Jefferson County, at Adams Chapel Methodist Church in Fayette and Mount Moriah Methodist Church in Union Church.

Latasha Woodard had lived in Jefferson County as a child, her mother said, and moved to Madison, Ill., where she graduated from high school before returning to Mississippi. She had attended Alcorn State University, Crawford said.

Crawford said this morning that funeral arrangements for her daughter would be decided after her son-in-law was released from UMC, where he was listed this morning as being in good condition.

In addition to her husband, daughters, mother and sister, Woodard has another sister, in the U.S. Navy, her mother said.

The accident was the sixth fatal wreck in Warren County in 2008, including one in the city.