Thursday, May 17, 2018

JA Senior Killed in Ridgewood Wreck

 A senior at Jackson Academy was killed after her car flipped when it struck an open manhole on in a northbound lane on Ridgewood Road near Venetian Way.  The convertible flipped over and landed upside down.  Frances Fortner would have graduated tomorrow.



The manholes on Ridgewood Road around Saratoga and Venetian Way have been a serious concern for quite some time as they were not raised to the level of the road when Ridgewood was resurfaced.  The city remedied that problem last week when it raised the manholes to that drivers no longer dealt with large city-created pothole-manholes on Ridgewood.

If anyone has pictures of the open manhole today, please send to kingfish1935@gmail.com.

UPDATE: JA issued the following statement:

 It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the loss of one of our Jackson Academy senior students, Frances Anne Fortner, who was to graduate Friday evening. News like this breaks our hearts, and our entire community of students, educators, and families, is grieving along with her family at this terrible loss.

R.I.P., Frances
  Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba issued the following statement as well:

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says, “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Miss Frances Fortner. My sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and classmates  of this young lady whose life was taken too soon. We are conducting a full investigation of the accident. More information will become available pending the outcome of the investigation.”

117 comments:

Anonymous said...


The manhole cover was completely removed?

Anonymous said...

This is heartbreaking and infuriating. A friend of mine posted around 11:00/11:30 this morning that she hit this same manhole and busted both right side tires. I saw something going on around noon on Ridgewood as I drove home for lunch (I couldn't tell it was a wreck) so this probably happened very shortly after my friend's incident. Police were called and they could have at least put cones up or something! I'm sick about this.

Anonymous said...

That is correct, no manhole cover. The city is directly responsible for this terrible tragedy, just one day from graduation.

Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble understanding how a car with a relatively low center of gravity would flip after hitting a manhole at normal speeds on Ridgewood. I would expect a broken rim and suspension damage but not a complete flip. Such a tragedy for the girl and my deepest condolences to her family but I am interested to see if the manhole was level with the street or like they were in Belhaven sinking down worse than the original potholes.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts and prayers for the family.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely heartbreaking! This poor family - God bless them!

Albert Schweitzer said...

Incredibly pathetic and tragic.

The roads are beyond horrible. The utilities are sad.

Their state of decay is only exceeded by the rapidly climbing murder rate and the lack of quality in the city government including our local legal system.

Should we change the name of our formerly fair city to:

Little Detroit or perhats Jatroit?

Bill Dees said...

I drove this section of Ridgewood Road earlier this week. I didn't see any open manholes. The manhole covers were 1 or 2 inches lower than the pavement because extension rings wern't installed when the new pavement was put in.

Anonymous said...

At what point can the mayor (current and previous) be Held criminally negligent for this?

Kingfish said...

Wrong Bill. Before last week, the one before Saratoga was probably four inches or more Deep. There was another one by VW that was deep too. Of course, as you said, they raised them last week.

Kingfish said...

IMS was project manager on resurfacing project.

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for this family. I don’t find it hard to believe road conditions played a part. My kids go to JA and I have busted a tire on Ridgewood. Twice. Praying for her parents.

Anonymous said...

Let me guess. IMS is minority, set aside, government contractor.

Anonymous said...

IMS was started by a minority hack named John Calhoun who is not an engineer. Formed the business years ago and got contracts by being a minority. After he got the work , he found some out of work PEs to sign off on things. This company is bad news.

Anonymous said...

Project Managers, Contractors and City are all about to get their butts sued

Anonymous said...

5:44. Feel better? Got the licks in? Sick phuck.

Rude said...

5:40 and 5:44. Jackson is much better off without you. We need caring and compassion and someone just lost their precious child. Your vile comments are uncalled for

Anonymous said...

Many questions. Many assumptions. Many accusations. As in any tradegy, many questions to be answered.

1) Was it a missing manhole cover, or just one that wasn't raised? Was it recently raised and the cover left off? If so, who left it off?

2) How fast was the convertible going to cause it to flip from a 20" diameter open hole?

3) Was the poor child wearing a seatbelt, or thrown from Ythe vehicle?

4) Had the manhole recently been raised? If so, who inspected its raising and was a cover installed?

After the repaving of Ridgewood, the street is much, much better. But there were manholes that needed to have the sleeves installed to raise them to street level and avoid the man-made potholes. A lot has been said about this terrible accident, but I have seen nothing that was an official report from the actual scene - just "I heards" repeated over and over and losing some of the details in the process.

In any case - a terrible situation for a family and a whole lot of the girl's young friends - who quite frankly at this time don't give a damn about the manhole cover or the street situation. Let's get over the "who's fault it is" for at least the weekend, and in the meantime let some actual facts be determined before we all start playing lawyer, judge and jury.

Anonymous said...

KF -- manholes don't typically uncover themselves. Are criminal charges a real possibility?

Anonymous said...

Law suit in Hinds County will not produce any justice.

Anonymous said...

"At what point can the mayor (current and previous) be Held criminally negligent for this? "

Probably never - "sovereign immunity"

Anonymous said...

We as citizens need to come together over this tragedy. It is not the time for pointing fingers about minority set aside contracts or talking about responsibility and lawsuits. A young woman has died and the skin color of everyone involved is irrelevant. This is a sad, terrible tragedy and we can unite and make this city a better place.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:35....AMEN!!

Anonymous said...

I personally drove over the manhole this morning around 11:15. It was half way up at an angle. I was able to swerve just in time to miss it but was very lucky to not hit the cover. Thoughts & prayers to the family.

Anonymous said...

My brother from out of town was with me today doing family business. We grew up in that area, and as we were heading south on Ridgewood from County line I hit a good manhole/pothole near the Shell station north of Adkins/Beasley Road. We commented on the issue after my car went BAM! So I get home, read this article and call my Brother to tell him about it. He tells me that 2 or 3 weeks ago when he was in town there was a manhole with NO lid in Ridgewood Rd. between Jackson Academy and Parham Bridges Park. NO cones, NO barrier signs, nothing. He said he was lucky to swerve to miss it. Had it been during the night it would have been a disaster. My condolences to the family of this young lady. This is beyond tragic.

Anonymous said...

Hope her family sues Jackson into oblivion.

Anonymous said...

This would be a tragedy in all circumstances, but the day before children and their parents celebrate a wonderful milestone in their life makes it doubly heart breaking. I am a 58 year old man and it makes me tear up thinking about the horror her parents are experiencing. Her classmates will remember their graduation as one of sadness not celebration. Jesus wept.

A. Concerned Motorist said...

Gee 7:18 p.m., there were probably many more that either straddled or swerved around that manhole cover prior to this accident. Makes me wonder why no one stopped and parked over it, turned their hazard flashers on and called the cops from the sidewalk IN GOOD FAITH that maybe someone else wouldn't hit the damn thing much less get killed by hitting it. I know that's exactly what I would have done.

Anonymous said...

Yates Construction owns Superior Asphalt. http://yatescompanies.com/

This resurfacing job has to be worst in the history of MS. I hope they get what is due them. God bless the family of this innocent victim.

Anonymous said...

7:18 Why didn't you report this?
Everyone living in Jackson needs to carry a spray can of Floursent Paint & when a pot hole, open man hole cover is discovered the citizen needs to spary paint the s**t out of it.

The Jackson police needs to treat this as a criminal investigation. Go to house around the man hole cover & check for video of criminal activity. Come on adults of Jackson. PROTECT YOUR KIDS!

Anonymous said...

Jackson is one of the most poorly run cities in the nation.

Anonymous said...

Isnt there a ridiculously small civil liabilty limit?

Anonymous said...

AFAIK manhole covers don't just disappear.

Did a methhead jackleg scrapper steal it?

Anonymous said...

7:52, there was a law passed several years ago that greatly capped the liability of a city in a law suit.

Anonymous said...

Is this Tom Fortner’s daughter? (Attorney)

Anonymous said...

Damn there are some real good finger pointers on here that have absolutely no knowledge of what happened - or for that matter, how it could have happened.

A missing manhole cover? Don't know how that could have happened, but if the manholes were raised last week, does anybody really believe that one was missing a cover for over a week? If not, then how does 7:44 come up with a way to point the finger at the contractor? Or earlier, at the engineer? If the manholes were all raised as required, and later a cover was removed, is the contractor forever liable? Or is the city automatically liable when one is missing?

More interesting question is how does a cover become 'removed'? Those damn things are pretty heavy - and I don't believe they can come off on their own. If somehow this particular cover had been off for a short period of time, is the city liable? Were they aware of the missing cover? If not, I'm not sure that there is an actual liability issue.

As to the cover supposedly missing further south in front of JA, that could not have anything to do with the recent construction - since it stopped at the OLC and Ridgewood intersection at Parham Bridges Park. If in fact there was a cover missing as someone said above, was this a punkass joke gone bad to remove these covers? Certainly wasn't related to the construction if that particular story was factual.

For all the forensic scientists on this site, let me recommend that you submit your qualifications to the MHP who I am sure will send an accident reconstruction team into place soon to investigate this tradegy. Otherwise, let me suggest you take all your backseat legal pontification back to the bar and let the family get over this issue and the facts be found before you continue condemning any and all within your sights.

Anonymous said...

@7:47

It was reported at 9:30am when a car driven by Jean Holmes struck the same exact manhole. JPD was called to the scene along with a tow truck for her car - both right tires were blown.

Anonymous said...

@7:47

Read the Clarion Ledger article. The City was very well aware about the manhole. An officer was there for a different wreck earlier this morning. They just didnt care.

Kingfish said...

No

Anonymous said...

You can thank your State GOP legislators for bringing us tort reform.

Anonymous said...

Speaking generally, an unsecured manhole cover can flip to a vertical position. from that point it can be knocked off. both circumstances are very dangerous of course.

Anonymous said...

Not attorney Tom Fortner

Anonymous said...

I hit it at 9:30... how dare someone say it did not take place...have voice recordings of the report if you want to question this. I called JPD..... they took no report no anything...didn't even ask. I told the officer this is a hazard get a cone something take care of this and the officer that I know by name did nothing!! I was afraid to stay in my car and wait for a tow truck because I was about to be hit at any moment by people dodging the hole yes open hole!!!!! My daughter got me so I could sit in her car for safety.. and the officer got out and tried to replace it and she couldn't pick it up and guess what she left!!!!! Wow!!!! Do your job and protect the citizens of Jackson. I'm disgusted and can't wait to ge out of this shithole run by incompentant idiots. Finger pointers my ass!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Preventable death if only the cop had done something about the manhole other than drive off after the first accident. The mayor will try his best to cover this up and JA has cancelled exams to assist in the damage control.

Anonymous said...

first of, prayers to this family. There pain has to be unbearable. Currently on Old Canton Rd, just southwest of Old Canton Lane, in Fondren, there is a open man hole that has remained open for approximately 2 weeks now, with one single barrel over it. Cars currently move into the turn lane to go around it. There are no warning indicators, no caution lights, no cones to adjust traffic into the turn lane. ONE. SINGLE. BARREL!!

Being a life long resident of Jackson, I remember when road work was being done, the safety precautions that were used to insure motorist and workers safety. A road hazard was barricaded with flashing lights. Stop lights never remained non-functioning b/c we had a traffic light engineering division and could respond and repair immediately (light not functioning at Whole Foods now for a week). Safety is a not important.

Last year, I called JPD non emergency line for the same man hole cover on Old Canton being knocked off.....they advised that was a City of Jackson public works issue, I replied with it is a JPD issue as soon as it causes a wreck and injury......crickets......"we will have a officer go by"

Anonymous said...

Her father is reportedly Tom Fortner, the director of Public relations at UMMC.

For the pathetic worm trying to make this political, "sovereign immunity" was around for a couple centuries before tort reform was introduced.

Anonymous said...

As busy as Ridgewood is, surely there are eye witnesses to this tragedy!

Anonymous said...

Next-

Anonymous said...

I know this child, and she was a lovely, vibrant, authentic, kind, unique, artistically talented, compassionate soul who will be missed by many.

I passed this place this morning at 10:05 (on the way to an appt and know the time). Their was a manhole cover at a 45 degree angle slanting up into the street. Given that the crew had only "fixed" 1/2 of the road - northbound only, this was just one more sign of incompetence . Reports are conflicting - whether the car hit the cover or if she swerved to avoid it or it could be something else we will never know, but the botched job is to blame.

Regardless, this was a senseless loss of a precious child who was her parents' joy and had so much to offer. Something has got to change. First step would be firing whoever is responsible for the whole disaster of a repaving job that causes drivers to swerve lane to lane or within in lanes to avoid the drop offs. Whoever got paid for this needs to be sued for anything paid and dismissed.

None of that will bring back that be sparkling girl with the fiery hair who chose to love everyone and live life to the fullest. She will be missed.

Anonymous said...

At 11:25 , traveling north, I passed the manhole and the cover was flipped straight up at a 90 degree
to the street. I was in the right lane, a car in the left lane swerved over the yellow line
to avoid it. At the next intersection , a Jackson PD cruiser was headed South. I thought that he
would surely see that and take action. There is no way he missed that.

A. Road Scholar said...

A typical cast iron manhole cover weighs about 120 pounds. It is typically held in place by nothing more than gravity, as the outer inch or so of the circumference of the manhole cover is supported by the cast iron manhole foundation. Cities that promote and hold Formula 1/Indy Car/Grand Prix races through the streets of the their City actually weld or bolt the manhole covers in place, as a very low to the ground race car with a flat under chassis going really fast WILL lift the manhole covers off of their foundation. That's surely not what happened here. But we have seen comments of "I saw it at a 45 degree angle" or "I saw it at a 90 degree angle"....well, yes, that's probable by design, which answers the age old Engineering question of "Why are manhole covers ROUND?".....because it's the only geometric shape that WON'T fall in the hole.

Anonymous said...

@8:17 the manhole cover at Northside and Kimwood blows all the time from raw sewage discharges. Yes, the City is aware of what happens to that cover. REPEATEDLY.

Anonymous said...

This girl was destined to leave a mark on our earthly home for the better. She was taken entirely too soon in a senseless act. We as parents and citizens need to take action. We need to stand up and RUN for offices that will CHANGE Jackson. Franny should be graduating tomorrow and has a roommate expected to meet her in Missouri for college this fall. Her parents will wake up
Tomorrow with the realization that this nightmare happened, and Franny will not be at CUMC with her friends and family of 14 years at JA.
A senseless death. We have got to do something! I agree with the person who said we all need to take spray cans and spray every darn pothole or hazard on our well traveled roads that we need to be safe. Please let’s put our heads together and get control of this city.

Anonymous said...

This girl was destined to leave a mark on our earthly home for the better. She was taken entirely too soon in a senseless act. We as parents and citizens need to take action. We need to stand up and RUN for offices that will CHANGE Jackson. Franny should be graduating tomorrow and has a roommate expected to meet her in Missouri for college this fall. Her parents will wake up
Tomorrow with the realization that this nightmare happened, and Franny will not be at CUMC with her friends and family of 14 years at JA.
A senseless death. We have got to do something! I agree with the person who said we all need to take spray cans and spray every darn pothole or hazard on our well traveled roads that we need to be safe. Please let’s put our heads together and get control of this city.

Anonymous said...

If you hit or saw this open manhole cover this morning, please make sure you let the authorities know when and what you saw. If the city was aware or should have been aware of this dangerous condition prior to the wreck, then there needs to be a record of that to help with the investigation.

Anonymous said...

At least two things need to happen:

1) The City of Jackson and all other parties who participated in this repaving project need to be taken to court and cleaned out.
2) The Mayor and Public Works Director need to resign.

Anonymous said...

Resign

Anonymous said...

As a parent of young children I can’t imagine how someone comes through such a tragic occurrence. Their lives will surely be forever altered. Every year at graduation time. All the reminders seen at stores, offices, churches celebrating what should be one of the happiest moments in a parents and child’s life. Please think of this before trying to politicize the situation. There will be a time for that later.

Anonymous said...

Anybody ever thought about ceasing complaints and getting motivated enough to take our tax dollars and our kids lives and create a new incorporated community? It has happened in other places (Alabama and Georgia specifically). We don’t HAVE to live this way!! Too many of you are complacent and adverse to change. A beautiful child died today because of incompetence. What more does it take, to take charge of our lives and our community. If we don’t stand up - we will continue to get run over because Jackson city government does not care one whit about NEJackson other than as a revenue collection point to fund their incompetence. Just shut up and keep paying taxes for pot holes that killed a child today. All the money sitting in this area could create roads, policing, infrastructure, etc. however that might require standing up for ourselves. My heart breaks for this family tonight.

Anonymous said...

Such a very horrible tragedy. Prayers for the family of the precious girl that was incolved in the wreck. But do we have all the answers. What if the manhole had been fixed and the company thought it was safe for vehicles to travel along it. Yes. There are many questions, but please be mindful of those involved. This could have happened anywhere. Unfortunately, it was in NE jackson. And attention definitely needs to be brought to it. I just pray that this will bring some change. Maybe the mooncrickets need to take some jobs somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I've hit open manholes before and destroyed 2 tires and rims. The COJ says it's not a hazard until it's reported and they have a written record. It cost me $1300 in repairs. Their Tort limit is $250K.

Anonymous said...

Speed/inattentiveness will play a factor in this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

There is a wreck causing pot hole on i-55 north bound about 1/4 mile shy of the Ridgeland exit that circles around and heads over a bridge to the mall on Highland Colony.....it is on the painted line.....there is possibly gping to be a horrific wreck with someone hitting it and losing control of their car.....I stopped and told Ridgeland police and they brushed me off saying they were repaving the roads......When your teeth are almost knocked out of your head and your heart is pounding after hitting a DEEP HOLE on the interstate......someone please take it seriously if you are stopped and told about it!! Deepest sympathies to the friends and family of this poor young girl, for such a senseless preventable tragedy!!!!

Anonymous said...

ALERT!!!! i-55 northbound.....1/4 mile south from Ridgeland exit....where one circles around heading west over the bridge towards Highland Colony Parkway..is a WRECK CAUSING HOLE ON THE LANE DIVIDING LINE.....PLEASE SEE THAT THIS GETS REPAIRED before someone loses control of their car and plows into another lane.........

Anonymous said...

Last night I was on my way home from dinner when I got a phone call. My daughter was on the line crying, saying she needed to talk. She told me of the death of Frances and how she was on her way to graduation practice - one day away from commencement - when this tragic accident occurred.

My daughter is a JA graduate and an art student at Ole Miss. This past weekend she helped guide a group of JA students on a river trip in Missouri. Frances Fortner was on the trip. She was an "art kid" (as my daughter put it) and had a YouTube channel that she posted to regularly. My daughter was watching it after hearing about her death, and saw a video of Frances and her dad out hiking. It moved her to call me and we spent a half hour on the phone talking about how short life is and about how much we love one another.

I know it is the nature of this site to bitch about Jackson and try to assign blame to the city's many problems. I do it, too. However, I hope each of you will step back for a moment and remember that life is short and time is precious. If there is anything good that can come from this, perhaps it is that we will all call our loved ones and let them know how absolutely dear they are to us.

My heart goes out to the Fortner family. I can't even imagine what they must be contending with at this time. Such a beautiful young woman, such a tragic loss. May God bless them and ease their suffering in their time of grief, and may each of you remember what is genuinely important in this world.

Call your children and let them know you love them, because one day you may not be able to do so.

Anonymous said...

Simply look at the pictures of the wrecked car after it had been turned over.
Mazda MX 5, right front wheel at 30 degree angle. She swerved to miss the open manhole to late. The small front tire went in the open hole and hung just enough to flip the light weight car. IMHO

Local news had an interview with gentleman that had called 911 to report the manhole cover at a 45 degree angle earlier and they referred him to public works. But the time the smoke clears many heads are going to roll.

Our prayers go out to the family on the loss of their child.

Anonymous said...

Concerning JPD passing by this hole, yesterday, I was at a intersection next to JPD, 2 cars blatantly ran a red light right in front of the officer, as our light was green, I turned to look at him, and he never checked up, just proceded on his merry way. While I believe our officers are heroes, I can’t help but wonder if they have been instructed to overlook certain things, and also that due to our cities current state, a mayor that wants to throw them under the bus if involved in a shooting, and a general low morale, has them just going through the motions in some areas.......not to mention severely under staffed

Anonymous said...

Nothing will happen to the city or any of their contractors. There is no legal system in Hinds
County and not but a handful of voters left who care about the right things. JA should have moved years ago when it had a chance.

Anonymous said...

It's time to march on city hall!! The city administration is lazy, incompetent, uncaring, corrupt, and full of nepotism.

This root problem is not going to fix itself. Wake up people!

Kingfish said...

It's Tom Fortner, the head whatever the title is of the commo Dept at UMC. Helped me w quite a few of my public records requests. Very nice guy. She was their only child. Just heartbreaking and at the same time, infuriating.

Anonymous said...

When you elect someone with ZERO experience you end up with a mayor with ZERO experience.

Anonymous said...

Two years ago, while dropping my mother off in Jackson after a trip to Florida, I did not hit a pothole but I hit a sudden swoosh where it appears that about a foot of asphalt turned the road into a roller coaster. Changed my life forever. The pavement on meadow brook that was so bad that it dislodged a spinal implant that had worked perfectly for 8 years. I have not been able to ride in a car for more than 20 minutes since. Corrective surgery has a 50% morbidity possibility. I do not sue but I should. Their are consequences to dis repair, deferred maintenance and improper corrective short-cuts. This poor family is one of many that the irresponsible state of Jackson has resulted in tragedy. It’s one disaster from chaos. There are those who think that the government is going to help them out with 60 years of evidence to prove otherwise. Others, resemble wildebeest just staring as their friend is being devoured by lion or crocs. Meanwhile Jackson decays.
Gangrene spreads.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mayor,

You are too busy playing "radical" to pay attention to the real work of making Jackson safe. This happened on your watch; ultimately it is your responsibility.

You need to spend more time making alliances with powerful people instead of hob-knobbing with the likes of Bernie Sanders. You need to inspire City workers to strive for excellence instead settling for the culture of mediocrity that permeates every level of City government. You need to spend less time on issues like reducing penalties for pot possession and "dignity economies" and more on finding ways to bolster the economy.

Mr. Mayor, none of your constituents want to be "radicals". We want safe streets and decent schools. Stop playing political activist, grow up, and DO YOUR JOB. A little girl died because of the City's negligence and you are the City.

Phillip Ley said...

The really disturbing thing about this situation is this occurred on a street that had supposedly been upgraded.

Anonymous said...

7:06 Are you serious? That's your comment? Are you insinuating that all private schools move out of Jackson? FPDS, St. Richards, St. Andrews, etc.? My children go to JA and you have NO IDEA how amazing that school and its teachers are. Look how Franny turned out! I can guarantee she could have blown you out of the water on an IQ test. You and many other on this blog need to keep focus on what this is about or keep your pie holes shut. The focus is that a an amazingly beautiful, talented, kind, smart young woman lost her life. The focus is also that it could have been prevented. So, if you have nothing nice to say about Franny or how to fix Jackson, shut it.

Anonymous said...

I’m a JA parent. We are devestated for the Fortners. I cannot even imagine their pain. The fact that this was entirely preventable only pours salt in this wound. We love JA and I feel like my children are loved by the faculty and are absolutely getting a quality education. It does make me worry about sending them though, especially when they are driving. It’s awful that a great school has to have water quality tests done to ensure the students aren’t drinking lead, it’s frightening when there are shootings in the vicinity, cars broken into at parham bridges on a regular basis, and road conditions around the school that are hazardous, and now proven to be fatal.

This isn’t the city I grew up in. The residents deserve better. Black, white, brown, every single person in Jackson deserves better. These aren’t issues that only affect JA either. We’ve got Spann and Casey right down the street as well. This affects all of us. It’s time we all work together and figure out how to make it better.

Anonymous said...

When you elect someone with ZERO experience you end up with a mayor with ZERO experience.

Now with tragic consequences the agonizing reality gets a new shot of reinforcement that even with the means Jackson's controlling political class can not manage the city, let alone the rehabilitation of the city. The botched, too often completion delayed, paving of Ridgewood and the situation with the manhole covers was intolerable and did not lack visibility at any level inside city hall yet nobody in Jackson government did squat. Now a promising young life has been lost as a result.

Detroit didn't begin its turnaround until the state of Michigan took over emergency management of the city and forced a top-to-bottom reorganization including bankruptcy. Until Mississippi's ruling political class finds the courage to force the same upon Jackson the death spiral of the city will continue unabated.

How much more proof does Mississippi need to conclude that Jackson needs to be taken over right now?

Anonymous said...

Repairs to a sinkhole at the intersection of Ridgewood and Northside were completed about a week ago. It is already deteriorating and it needs to be leveled with more asphalt.

A similar sinkhole about a block south of Northside was repaired (it took all of six weeks for the repairs to be done) about 8 months ago. The asphalt started to compress immediately thereafter, leaving a dangerous dip in the road.

If these repairs are being done by city employees, their supervisors need to be fired and the workers need to replaced with properly-trained workers who can actually FIX things. If they're being done by outside contractors, they need to be sued.

Anonymous said...

Again the question arises that has been asked for a while now, why are we worried about a f-ing zoo when we have streets and other utilities in such despair?

Anonymous said...

My wife encountered a manhole with the cover askew on Old Canton Road just south of St. Andrews Lower School about 2 weeks ago. She called the police and reported it. She drove back by about 30 min. later and the cover was broken in half and there were tire and rim parts scattered about. She called the police again to report it. About an hour later she drove by again and nothing had been done. She called the police and they told her to call the city road dept. She called the road dept. and they said they knew about and would get something done. She didn't believe them so she took a traffic barrier from a pothole that had three of the barriers by and put it in front of the open manhole, to try and prevent an accident. 4 days later, the city finally put a barrel in front of the hole. The manhole is still open and the barrel is still there. Doesn't seem that the police and the city were very concerned about the public safety.

Anonymous said...

I drove a 2005 Mazda Miata as my daily commuter car for seven years. The car rides on small, low-profile, run-flat tires with really stiff sidewalls, and the car has a really tight suspension ... for those reasons, I always dreaded driving that lightweight car on State Street, West Northside, and Fortification, because the deep potholes and crazy-uneven pavement really tossed that little car around, and caused it to shake, shudder, and jump, even while traveling at posted speeds. I mean, when you hit a pothole in a Miata, it's like, WHAM! -- you really feel it as a full-body blow because the whole car takes the brunt of the impact pretty hard. So I can imagine a set of circumstances, based upon my own personal experience with that car, in which a number of factors -- which, by the way, do NOT include driver error -- could cause the car to flip. I mean, the Miata is not a Corvette. It is a really competent, capable, responsive, and well-engineered sports car, but it is not "too much too handle" for a responsible high-school driver. It's a delightfully easy car to drive, it's not over-powered, and it would be perfectly suited for a young driver like Frances. Which is my way of saying that I believe that this accident would have occurred regardless of whether an 18-year-old or a 55-year-old was behind the wheel. When that little car crossed paths with the open manhole, it was a tragic and awful case of an irresistible force meeting up with an immovable object. I suspect that the driver was not at fault to any degree, and that the little Miata responded exactly as the laws of physics would have predicted. With heartbreaking results.

Anonymous said...

Ok, police were aware and didn't respond, just drove away, they knew but didn't do! They may not be responsible for the mitigation but they ARE responsible for the communication. Why aren't the media interviewing police?? James 4:17... To serve and protect? Which was this?? ... James 4:17

Anonymous said...

While defending BabyChok three weeks ago a Jackson blind faith apologist asked me (thinking he was making a seriously considered point) why Jackson didn't fix the problem with the (now) 100 year old pipes in the 60s and 70s. It was at that moment when I realized that they'll do anything, say anything and suspend all reason/logic to avoid accountability.

Anonymous said...

It's my impression that the car flipped when it hit the COVER -- not that a wheel went into a hole. That small car probably went over the cover like it was a ramp, especially if it was at an angle as some have suggested. The news crews showed images of a manhole cover tilted at an angle sitting out in the middle of the road.

Anonymous said...

I mean this is past horrible. Are we supposed to get out and try to fix it ourselves. Lets start with the little things things we can fix. I mean the attitude have improved just with a little paving. Get the infrastructure fixed and make people feel safe and Jackson will be on the right road.

Anonymous said...

The city of Jackson is one big giant case study of government sponsored product liability in Mississippi. The city government is tone deaf to all, save those who benefit from such an arrangement, seemingly.

Anonymous said...

This wouldn’t have happen if she were obeying the law by driving the speed limit. Everyone knows you have to drive less than the speed limit in Jackson due to the bad streets.

Anonymous said...

A radical city indeed-

Anonymous said...

9:21 beyond pathetic. That is your analysis? You already know the speed?
I think it is reasonable to expect a road free of an 100 pound cast iron ramp.
What about a motorcycle boxed in going 15 mph? A little old lady going 20 and gets run over by the truck behind her as the manhole cover
Causes an abrupt stop? Jackson is a tragedy! Your analysis is worse!

Mary H Zimmerman said...

@9:21, how do you know what speed she was driving?

Anonymous said...

Comments such as those from @9:21 are not helpful and are fundamentally mean-spirited. She was operating a well-built and -designed car at the time of the accident, and she was using a public street for its intended purpose. Civil engineers are trained to design roads, and contractors are obliged to build roads, which can be safely navigated under harsh conditions and within a relatively broad bandwidth of misuse. Even if Frances were exceeding the speed limit, it was not her fault that she encountered a non-conforming or non-compliant road condition (1) for which the city had a duty to maintain in a safe and competent manner, and (2) which flipped her car. If for no other reason than out of respect for Frances and those who knew and loved her, please stop inserting such irrational finger-pointing into this truly awful situation!

Anonymous said...

9:21 "Everyone knows" not to travel at the speeds posted on the signs as the safe limit? Really? So the city-- who is responsible for the roads AND posting the speed limit-- isn't responsible for posting an appropriate safe limit (or fixing the street) but the citizen following the recommended limits is at fault?

You're either stupid or a (sadistic, bitter) troll. I suspect both, because no one is only that stupid.

Anonymous said...

9:21, will be official position of the City.

Anonymous said...

9:21, just search 'car hitting manhole' on youtube. There are many examples caught on video, and a car does NOT need to be traveling fast to flip or get into a serious wreck. In fact, I've never really thought of them as a hazard, and was surprised to see how easily they can pop off if they are not seated well, and a car's tires hit them the right way. From now on I plan to make sure my wheels avoid those manholes, covered or not.

Anonymous said...

@ May 17, 2018 at 6:35 PM

How fast was the convertible going to cause it to flip from a 20" diameter open hole?

Excellent question? I would like to know how fast she was driving as well?

It's still a shame she passed away, the blame can go in many directions.

But of course, the local bigots will find ways to call out IMS, Antar for various reasons.

This place never ceases to disappoint with its blatant bigotry at every opportunity

Anonymous said...

Why are you here 10:15 AM?

Kingfish said...

IMS was the project manager. They get paid the big bucks, they can get the big questions. Don't like it? Too damn bad.

Anonymous said...

The only question you'll hear at City Hall and Council Chambers today or next week is 'What's our liability?' Otherwise, it's back to the status quo and bidness as usual.

Same number of little white city cars at Dragos and IHOP as always.

Anonymous said...

Who is the Councilman over this area now? I know it used to be Ashley Foote

Anonymous said...

IMS is a joke in the profession.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:36pm

The city councilman for Ward 1 is Ashby Foote

Anonymous said...

From JFP: "(Director of Public Works Robert) "Miller said he is not aware of any other manholes in Jackson that are either uncovered or have barrels near them."

http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2018/may/18/public-works-manholes-unaware-other-uncovered-ones/

How do you communicate with these bozos to TELL them where the uncovered/barreled manholes are?

Anonymous said...

Through a little digging it seems IMS is a multi faceted firm engaged in DBE consulting. Its main face it a guy by the name of Roderick Hill. Per an article by the JFP, "My father, grandfather and several uncles all work in construction, so I suppose (it) was just natural that I became interested in the business growing up," Hill said. "In high school, I started wanting to be involved in transportation and engineering ... so I researched what it would take to get an engineering degree and went for it."

Originally from Fort Pierce, Fla., Hill, 44, came to Jackson 27 years ago. He attended Jackson State University from 1988 to 1993 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. He then attended the University of Mississippi from 1993 to 1995 and received a master's degree in civil engineering.

Hill founded IMS, a full-service consulting firm with an emphasis on engineering services and project management, in 1996. IMS entered the SBA 8(a) Program in 1998 and graduated from it in 2007. IMS offers engineering and construction administration services on many types of engineering projects, including civil, environmental, wastewater, structural and transportation. The company, who has its headquarters in Jackson, also maintains offices in New Orleans, Shreveport, La., Memphis, Tenn., Houston and Baltimore, and has 180 employees nationwide.

One of IMS' priorities is supporting small, disadvantaged and women-owned firms through partnerships and collaborations.

"We know that small (businesses) and women-owned businesses face many struggles, so we bring them on board with us and do everything we can to support them," Hill said. "They need opportunities to grow, and we need their help to bring together smart, creative ... positive people to grow our city."

Anonymous said...

I too called 911 about the manhole hazard on Thursday morning. Initially I called 911 at 11:46am and reported the manhole cover hazard as on Ridgewood Road between Old Canton Road and Briarwood Drive. As I turned onto Briarwood Drive I decided to provide a more specific location so that someone responding, thinking that there would be one immediately, would have no problem locating the hazard. I circled back around and called 911 a second time at 11:53am, identifying that I had called a few minutes earlier and that the manhole hazard was located at the intersection of Ridgewood Road and Venetian Way.
Sick to my stomach when I read the paper this morning.
I have the call records on my phone and will retain them. I have provided this information through channels that will reach the family.
Deepest sympathy for the family and greater disgust with the City

Anonymous said...

I am not a particularly religious man but at a time like this where a family's heart is just torn out, we all should say a prayer to God that they find some strength and peace and comfort. They will need all the love and support they can get. May God shine his face upon them in their time of need.

Anonymous said...

I thought Ashby retired years ago

Anonymous said...

@2:17

He might as well have. He's never accomplished anything positive since he's been there. If it wasn't for watching an occasional video of the City Council meeting showing Enoch Sanders and his rants, I wouldn't have thought he even attended the meetings.

Anonymous said...

2:17 -- ROADIE -- Retired on Active Duty

Anonymous said...

Those of you with eyewitness information and 911 call records, go ahead and turn it in to the city but don't expect anything to come of it. Just be sure and save a copy to go to the Fortners' attorney when he/she is named. This is coming from someone who just spent over $700 for new engine mounts due to driving on Jackson streets (what's left of them).

Anonymous said...

Indeed, 4:33. I don’t pretend to fathom this family’s grief. I hope I never can. Whatever they choose to do, May God comfort them in this horrible tragedy. I would SUE.SUE.SUE. There is a known pattern of incompetence. We do projects in over a dozen states, but will never work in city limits. Incredible incompetence, apathy and attitude from city employees. We can handle getting licenses and permits statewide, multiple cities located in CO, FL, NC, TN, NV, AR, KY, SC, GA, AL, LA, TX, ND, WV, MI, IN, etc., but we don’t bid jobs in Jackson. I am sure I left a couple of states out, but you get the idea. State needs to take Jackson over before the rest of the businesses and tax payers evacuate due to high crime and crumbling infrastructure. Now, a liberal apologist will chime in and tell me how it’s all my imagination and/or I just hate Jackson. No, I love Jackson.That’s why watching it decline into a mismanaged cesspool angers me.

JD Smith said...

I just took a drive and photographed several potholes including the one that caused the accident. Hey Kingfish... Have you ever considered allowing commenters on your blog to post pictures?

Instead of a single thread, have you ever considered opening this blog and giving the readers the ability to post threads with photos and also to respond to the threads?

Thanks... I do enjoy this blog.... I read it daily. You do a good job.



Kingfish said...

Ok, get back on topic. I understand a tragedy up is upsetting so I let readers vent a little because they just need to get it off their chests. However, I have two other threads that are more jackson-oriented. Make the comments about Jackson itself on them. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

^^^ OK

Anonymous said...

Here is a video of a car hitting a pothole, driving at what appears to be a normal speed. The vehicle in the video is a SUV, so not hard to imagine a small car flipping over. Tragedy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEP_wfEY7kw

Anonymous said...

Where are the revenues paid to this city going? Who is really in charge? Where is the corruption? Those are the questions we should be asking.

Anonymous said...

7:44 P.M.: I believe Superior took over from another company that was taking too long and doing a poor job.

Anonymous said...

8:45 p.m. You're right. Attorney Tom Fortner moved to Hattiesburg several years ago.

I think his Fortner family moved to Jackson in 2003.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.