Heart attack causes accident

Published 2:22 pm Friday, January 28, 2011

A Picayune man was involved in an accident last Friday that apparently was related to his having a heart attack while driving.

Capt. Chad Dorn with the Picayune Police Department said officers received a call about the accident at about 4:41 Friday afternoon. An investigation into the accident found that a vehicle driven by 63 year-old Michael Candebat of Picayune had left the right side of the road while traveling north on U.S. 11 and struck a building.

Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said witnesses stated they saw Candebat slumping over in his car and it was apparent he was having difficulty driving just before the accident.

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When the vehicle left the road, it entered the parking lot next to Dr. Walter Gipson’s office and struck two vehicles, one of which was forced into another car by the impact, and then struck the doctor’s office, Dorn said. In all, four cars and the building sustained damage as a result of the accident.

Turnage said Gipson was one of the first people to provide emergency care to Candebat after the back window was broken out so rescuers could have access to the ailing driver. Once Candebat was moved out of the vehicle, Gipson started CPR until the fire department and ambulance arrived, the coroner said.

Candebat was transported by ambulance to Highland Community Hospital before being airlifted to Forrest General where he died on Sunday as a result of the heart attack he suffered, Turnage said.

Fortunately, no one in the parking lot or in Dr. Gipson’s office was injured during the incident, Dorn said. Even though the car struck the building in the area of the office waiting room, the waiting room was empty because Gipson had called the patients in the waiting room back to the examination area prior to the accident, Turnage said.