1 dead in Jackson school van crash near Mendenhall

Published 3:40 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Jackson teacher remained hospitalized Tuesday for treatment of injuries from an accident near Mendenhall that left one person dead, according to authorities.

All seven people in the van were employees of Jackson’s Walton Elementary School. They were going to a conference in Biloxi when the accident occurred Monday.

Mendenhall Deputy Police Chief Bruce Barlow identified the teacher killed in the accident as Connie Little Harrell of Jackson. Five of those hurt in the accident were released from local hospitals after being treated for injuries.

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Jackson Public Schools spokeswoman Peggy Hampton said Harrell went to work at Walton in 1998 as a first-grade teacher. This was her first year as literacy coach, Hampton said.

Elsie Bracey, an extension teacher, was taken to Simpson County Hospital and later transferred to University Medical Center in Jackson, where she remained Tuesday.

The Walton principal, five teachers and another school employee were headed to the state Department of Education’s Summer Conference in Biloxi when the accident occurred.

Barlow said the accident was under investigation.