Local firefighters attend funeral for two killed in Lamar County

Published 10:34 am Monday, March 20, 2017

Warren County firefighters were in Sumrall Sunday to attend the funerals of two Lamar County volunteer firefighters who were killed by a hit and run driver as they were assisting law enforcement officers at the scene of a wreck.

“We’ve come down here to show our support for the family and the community in their time of sorrow,” said Stan Collins, an engineer with the Northeast Volunteer Fire Department.

He said the Warren County delegation included firefighters from the Culkin and Northeast Volunteer Fire departments, and Vicksburg Fire Chief Charles Atkins.

“This something we do here in Mississippi to show support, whether it’s firefighters or police officers; we want to back the badge,” Collins said. “We want the people and the family know we are behind them.”

Atkins said attending funerals like the one Sunday are a normal practice for firefighters. “The family and the community appreciate seeing the support,” he said.

According to sheriff’s office reports, Sumrall volunteer firefighters Clinton Alvin Beasley, 80, and Loretta Ann Sykes, 53, were directing traffic at a wreck on Mississippi 589 at Oloh Road when they were hit by a driver who fled the scene. Both were pronounced dead at the scene by Lamar County Coroner Cody Creel. 

A Sumrall man, Brandon Chance Eaton, 31, was later arrested and charged with hit-and-run and causing death. Authorities said the vehicle driven by Eaton was southbound on Mississippi 589 when it veered onto Oloh Road and struck the firefighters. It was later stopped and Eaton was taken into custody.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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