One dies another injured in accident

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Louisiana motorcycle driver died late Tuesday night from injuries received in a two-vehicle crash on Memorial Boulevard near the I-59 Southbound on-ramp.

Tuesday, the Picayune Police Department responded to a call at 10:33 p.m. regarding a traffic accident between a motorcycle and a vehicle, Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said.

The motorcycle driver has been identified as 36-year-old Charley Franks of 3624 Whites Ferry Rd. in West Monroe, La. Franks was accompanied by 25-year-old Kristen Head of 25067 Marie Mackay Dr. in Kiln, Miss., Magri said.

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Franks was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering blunt force trauma, Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said.

Head suffered severe injuries and was immediately transported to Highland Community Hospital and then to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, where her condition remains unknown, Turnage said.

Franks wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident but Head was, Magri said.

Investigators believe Franks and Head were traveling eastbound on Memorial Boulevard, while a van, pulling a trailer, traveled westbound, Magri said.

According to an eyewitness report, the van was making a left turn onto I-59 southbound on-ramp when the motorcycle, traveling at high speeds, ran the red light and hit the trailer, Magri said.

The driver of the van was identified as 57-year-old Epimenio Martin of 82 Santiago Apostol Dios Pad in Ixmiquilpan, Mexico. Martin was accompanied by 45-year-old Daniel Rojo-Gachuz of 452 Cedar Path Dr. in Birmingham, Ala., Magri said.

Police arrested Martin at the scene after he was unable to provide a driver’s license. He was charged with no driver’s license and received a citation for no proof of insurance. He was taken to Highland Community Hospital, where they administered a blood test, Magri said.

Officers also recovered a plastic bag containing a white crystallized substance believed to be crystal meth on Franks’ person, Magri said.

A sample of Franks’ blood will be tested to see if drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident, Magri said.