2 teens die in wreck|Car crosses median, starts chain-reaction

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 21, 2009

Two Warren County teens were killed Friday night and a Vicksburg woman was being treated at a local hospital following a wreck involving two cars and an 18-wheeler in the westbound lanes of Interstate 20 between Flowers and Bovina.

Justin Ferguson, 19, 367 Rollingwood Drive, and Barry Hutchinson, 17, 1951 U.S. 80, were both pronounced dead at 8:58 p.m. by Warren County Deputy Coroner Kelda Bailess. Police arrived on the scene about 30 minutes earlier.

Ferguson was driving east on I-20 in a black Honda Civic, with Hutchinson in the passenger seat, when he apparently lost control of the vehicle and crossed the median into oncoming traffic, Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Wayne Smith said. The Honda then struck a maroon 2005 Toyota Camry driven by Kimberly Graves, 28, 1525 South St., which caused Graves’ vehicle to collide with an 18-wheeler, Smith said.

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Graves was being treated at River Region Medical Center late Friday night and her condition was unknown, Smith said. She was wearing her seat belt and had no passengers in her car, he said.

Smith said neither Ferguson nor Hutchinson appeared to be wearing seat belts. The investigation is ongoing, and Smith said it is not known what caused Ferguson’s car to cross the median. Bailess said autopsies will be performed at the Mississippi Crime Lab in Jackson.

“Speed may have played a factor, but it’s too early to determine right now,” Smith said.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured.

The wreck caused both westbound lanes of I-20 to be closed for about two hours.

At 11:45 Friday night, traffic in the westbound lanes was backed up past Edwards — about seven miles from where the wreck occurred.

Eastbound traffic was reduced to one lane temporarily.

It was the third and fourth traffic fatality in Warren County this year. No fatalities have occurred within the city limits.


Contact Steve Sanoski at ssanoski@vicksburgpost.com.