Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tragedy in Newton County

The Mississippi Highway Patrol issued the following statement:

On Monday, October 31, 2016 at approximately07:45 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to a two vehicle crash on Highway 80 west of Chunky, Mississippi  in Newton County.  A Ford F-150 collided into the rear of a small utility trailer being towed by a Jeep Wrangler as both vehicles were traveling westbound on Highway 80. Nine occupants were on the trailer at the time of the collision. Three occupants on the trailer, Kristina Shaver a 33 year old female, Baylie Shaver an 8 year old female, and Brooke Shaver a 2 year old female were killed. All three were from Chunky, MS. The six remaining occupants on the trailer were transported to hospitals in Meridian and Jackson. Their injuries are listed as life threatening and remain in critical condition. The driver of the Jeep, Terry Smith, a 58 year old male from Chunky was not injured. The driver of the Ford F150, Chase Cook, a 20 year old male from Decatur, MS was not injured. The accident remains under investigation by the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Kingfish note: Honest question. Why was a hayride taking place on the highway? 


Anonymous said...

Hwy 80 West of Chunky, MS is little more than a two lane country road....and probably the only reasonable path between point A & point B.

Anonymous said...

Kristina's husband died suddenly earlier this year and her daughter remains in critical condition. Also, Terry Smith is either her dad or step-dad. All on the trailer were family. So, so tragic.

Anonymous said...

Why a hayride on a highway? For one thing, most of Chunky is on Highway 80 so it is the only road one can take most of the time. Second, the speed limit is 35 miles per hour on that stretch of road. Third, that section of Highway 80 can be entirely bypassed by traveling on I-20 (between the Lake exit or Decatur exit and the Lost Gap exit), so there isn't much traffic.

I have family that live right there on Highway 80 in Chunky. People have no choice but to use that stretch of Highway 80 as if it were a residential street, but then there are idiots passing through driving 70 mph just because there aren't many cars on the road.

Anonymous said...

I go though there everyday and live about eight miles away. The speed limit where this happened is not 35. (although it is in the town of Chunky itself) I too would not characterize Highway 80 as a rural road or the only way to get around. (by the way it was, until about 1965, a Coast to Coast highway stretching from San Diego, CA to Savannah, GA) It is still essentially a U.S. Highway. Replaced by the parallel Interstate 20 many years ago, but still a main artery across Mississippi, particularly for local folks commuting to Meridian for work. In this straightaway of highway, between Chunky and the road where the hayride was turning, folks regularly can reach speeds in excess of 70 mph unabated. Those who question why a hayride was on this highway have a legitimate question. I have driven for hayrides, and I'd never go down Highway 80. Best to stay on county roads or dirt roads for that sort of thing. I also wonder how if both vehicles were traveling westbound, the guy in the Ford didn't see something in front, even if the trailer had no lights. This is a long stretch of straight, flat road looking west from Chunky all the way to where this hayride was turning. For at least 3/4 of a mile or more, there are no curves, hills or any obstructions, other than one bridge to cross, between Chunky and where this hayride was turning. While I certainly don't want to infer anything or draw conclusions, it should be a wake up call to us all and we should ask some serious questions about route and lighting before we organize hayrides.

Anonymous said...

I know that I partook in hayrides that rode all over city streets and MS highways (to get from Point A to Point B). But, that was 40 years ago and I would never do the same today with my children or anyone else's. It is a very sad lesson, but keep hayrides to farm roads, etc...

Anonymous said...

We'll know more, once toxicology reports are in, and Chase Cook's cell phone records have been subpoenaed.

But independent of possible substance issues and texting issues, this is surely another sickening example of what can happen when we drive fast. At a high rate of speed, when something goes wrong, it goes really, REALLY wrong.

It's so sad that the victims here, were a group of really nice people, doing the sort of thing that really nice people do.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to question why, because that has already been done and I'm sure a lesson has been learned. Right now it is time to pray for these families.

Terry Burtonn said...

So...to recap; Let's jump the automobile driver, Chase Cook. He must have been either speeding or texting. Forget the fact that he hit a hay wagon with no tail lights going down a state road at four miles per hour after dark.

And since the victims were really nice people and it was to be a fun evening.....Mr. Cook has got to be the culprit, right?

John Dough said...

Mr. Burton, that's a lot of new information not contained in the news report. May I ask your source? No tail lights, 4 mph, state highway (then why is it U.S. 80?)....

Anonymous said...

Mr. Burton has apparently forgotten that Mississippi is a pure comparative negligence state. Yes, Senator, Mr. Cook is most assuredly "the culprit," at least in part. One must operate one's vehicle in a manner that avoids striking a vehicle occupying the roadway ahead. Whether Mr. Cook is completely responsible or only partially responsible is ultimately for his insurance company's claims adjuster or a jury to decide. But, thank you, Mr. Burton, for appearing and reminding us to consider all factors before declaring Mr. Cook a typical drunk who could be a potential state senator candidate.

Anonymous said...

I bet Chase Cook is a big NASCAR fan. Typical of the country folk thinking what can be done on the racetrack can be done better on the highway. If he was going 35 MPH this stupidity wouldn't be as severe!

Anonymous said...

This Facebook exchange was on WLBT's page, and I'm going to leave names off, even though names are on there. One person said: "OK I'm still trying to figure out what the guy was doing tht was so important he wasn't paying attention to a trailer full of babies and parents?? Your suppose to pay attention to the road and other vehicles when driving especially on Halloween when you know the roads are full of kids trick or treating... So does anybody know if he was texting or what???"

Then apparently a relative of the man who hit the hayride trailer said: "I really don't care for your attitude. Before putting a comment on here you really should do your homework. You apparently aren't familiar with the little town of Chunky and the dirt road he pulled out on to get on 80. Little alone the hill there. No. He was not texting. He had his wife and 1 year old son with him. He wasn't even speeding. When my cousin got to the scene....Chase was heard screaming louder than anyone. His life also changed last night. You may ask how I know this...they were kin to me too. You really should work on your bossy attitude especially when you don't even know what you're talking about!!"

Both people in his exchange ended up apologizing to each other later.

Anonymous said...

Did the trailer have lights? Reflective devices? SMV? If it didnt the organizer and driver of the hay ride is as neglegent as the party that ran in to them. The question was asked if the trailer was rear ended and havent seen an answer to that.

A hay ride with children should have been lit up like a christmas tree.

Anonymous said...

An automobile operator whose vehicle strikes another vehicle, after dark, with the vehicle being stuck having no reflective devices or lights (as required by law) cannot be held negligent.

This would apply even it the victims were nice people, were 'babies and parents', or were chanting Bible verses.

A 'hay wagon' being pulled on a public roadway, without lights, after dark is, at best, an illegal use of the roadway.

Anonymous said...

First off John Dough and 8:51 - I would bet that the earlier post was not posted by "Senator Terry Burton" but rather by someone thinking that they were cute with their post.

It is true that both sides of this terrible accident might have some negligence, but I'll bet that nobody that has posted here, or on other sites, really knows what the facts were. (1) How fast was the driver going, (2) did the trailer have lights / reflectors on the rear, (3) how fast was the trailer going, (4) what were the road conditions on Hwy 80 - curve, flat, hill, etc.

Much more will be analyzed here beside the 'assumptions' made about either side. It certainly shouldn't be tried to analyze and place blame on a site like this. Everybody ought to take their shit and cram it back up their rear. Let the law officials, and the families, try to deal with this absolute tragedy. Pray for the little girl fighting for her life at UMMC along with all the others injured. And for the families on both sides of this accident. Nobody will be the same after Monday night and all these assumptions do nothing to make any of it better.

Anonymous said...


As usual, the Daily Mail has the most complete article.

It's just too sad, when things like this happen to such good people.

Chunky River said...

You would probably be right in your assumption, 10:28, especially since the poster spelled his name Burtonn.

And we surely do not need YOU to tell us the posts on here are speculative. Do you really think we don't know that? But thank you so much for your preachy little attitude.

Anonymous said...

11:13 - THANK YOU!! THANk YOU!! You noticed that the poster spelled his name with an extra "n" - to cover his ass. But the following two comments came from people who didn't, including the one that addressed his comments to Senator Burton and used his title along with his name.

Maybe you, me and half the others recognized the smart-assed comment as coming from someone who thought he was being cute - but it appears that not everybody realized his cheap, and weak, attempt at humor.

And we don't need YOU to tell us what is needed or not needed - either.

Anonymous said...

It's two days later, 6:25, and Saturday. I do hope you are not still angry.

Anonymous said...

Regarding a really bad wreck on 61, north of Cleveland, I just read that agricultural equipment always has the right of way. That may not be relevant to the case of the hayride, but I did not know that.

Michelle Frazier said...

I hope Chase Cook is put behind bars and never sees light of day again!This punk was speeding,and clearly being careless. My 17 yr old son was almost killed..So now he will face a lot of rehabilitation and the trama from this horrible accident.Losing his aunt and small cousins has been devastating. That boy crushed my sons leg and broke the other,skull fracture,road rash on his face and body.I do not have any faith in the justice system, so i am sure Mr Cook will continue walking free while my son and his other family members will be in pain for the rest of their lives!

Michelle Frazier said...

@Mr Burton, yes Chase cook is the careless driver that had a truck with 2 big headlights,yet could not see anything in front of him.He was going so fast on a night when many families with children are out.He didn't have time to even attempt to miss them..He slammed right into.Let me tell you something when its your child in this type of accident, you would not be so forgiving to Mr Cook..He mangled my childs legs,he killed 2 small children,and their mother,and severely injuried 4 others.Get your head out of your ass.I dont care if your a senator or a janitor, you are wrong!

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