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Donut Hole accident victim, driver identities released

Emergency personnel tend to the injured in Thursday' accident. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Emergency personnel tend to the injured in Thursday’ accident.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

One man has died and three others were injured as a result of Thursday’s accident that involved an SUV driving into the Picayune Donut Hole on Memorial Boulevard.

Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said the accident was called in at about 1:30 that afternoon. Emergency personnel responded to find four people had been injured, one critically.

Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage identified the deceased as 78-year-old Joel C. Bennett and listed his cause of death as being due to a cervical fracture and blunt force trauma.

The driver of the vehicle that broke through a large plate glass window of the local business was identified as 37-year-old Bambie Williams of 417 N. Beech St., who was charged with no insurance, Magri said. Blood was drawn from Williams for testing in accordance with state law, which mandates such tests be conducted when a vehicle accident involves injuries or death. Magri said the blood sample was sent to the state crime lab. He said the accident is still under investigation so additional charges could be forthcoming.

It is unknown exactly what caused the accident at this time, Magri said. But initial investigation indicates Williams failed to stop or was unable to stop the vehicle when trying to park in front of the business. Investigators are working to determine the exact cause of the accident.

When the vehicle entered the business it pinned Bennett and another unnamed individual between the vehicle and the counter, Magri said. The unnamed individual was airlifted to Forrest General for medical care, Magri said.

Bennett was pronounced dead upon arrival at Highland Community Hospital.