First-responders at the scene of a fatal wreck at Highway 84 East and Eastview Drive just before noon Saturday. (Photo by PIO Dana Bumgardner/Jones County Fire Council)

Mechanic killed, state rep injured in crash at intersection

A Laurel man was killed and a state official was injured in a crash on Highway 84 East just before noon on Saturday. 

Brad Magee, 41, had just dropped off his fiancée LaTonya Jones at Auto World moments earlier, then was attempting to cross the highway to go to Dollar General to pick up an item when the crash occurred.

Magee, who was a mechanic at Auto World, was attempting to cross the westbound lanes of the U.S. 84 on Eastview Drive when he pulled his Hyundai into the path of a Ford 350 that was being driven by Rep. Gary Staples, 78, of Laurel. Staples, who is in his fourth consecutive term as a Republican representative for District 88, was headed west toward Laurel. He reportedly suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from South Central Regional Medical Center after being transported by EMServ Ambulance.

“(Magee) was just going to the dollar store and coming right back,” Shenika Magee Jones said of her brother. “(His fiancée) saw it all.”

The couple had been together for “five or six years,” she said. Her brother didn’t have any children, but he came from a big family. He was the oldest of eight siblings, the only brother with three younger sisters.

“He was protective of all of us,” Shenika Jones said. “All of his nieces and nephews loved him. This all just seems so unreal.”

Magee graduated from Laurel High and worked as a mechanic and he worked on computers, she said, adding that he was a part-time employee for Auto World.

“He was very smart and intelligent,” she said. “He was so fun, lovable … he didn’t meet a stranger. He was just a good guy. He will be missed.”

Volunteer firefighters from Powers, Glade, Rustin and Sandersville responded to the crash, which was reported at 11:40 a.m. They renewed medical aid and extricated the entrapped victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Don Sumrall. 

Both westbound lanes of Highway 84 East were shut down for more than an hour.

Several longtime first-responders said it was one of the worst wrecks they had ever been to.

“That’s one of the worst vehicle crashes I’ve responded to as a Powers volunteer firefighter in over 25 years of service,” Lance Chancellor said. “That particular intersection at Eastview and 84, along with the Masonite Lake Road and 84 intersection, are unfortunately seeing very major vehicle crashes. We urge drivers to be careful when crossing Highway 84 East, as traffic is traveling at highway speeds and converging on intersections quickly.”

The Mississippi Highway Patrol is investigating the accident. Investigator Wayne Black of the Jones County District Attorney’s Office, as well as the Jones County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene, as did Jones County Fire Council Chaplain Drew Blanton.

— PIO Dana Bumgardner/Jones County Fire Council contributed



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