LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — A West Point man dies early this morning in an accident that likely was weather related. And at least five cars were involved in a separate accident near the first crash caused by a water-logged tree falling across the road.
Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant says 64-year-old Johnnie Matthews was killed when his 2001 Chevrolet pickup truck plowed through the top end of a large pine tree that had fallen from the north side of Highway 50 across both the west and eastbound lanes of the road. Matthews was eastbound on his way to his job with the postal service in Columbus.
The impact with the tree threw the truck out of control and it continued about another 150 yards before crossing the westbound lane, sliding through a ditch and striking a tree head on.
He was wearing a seat belt.
The call came two minutes before 5 this morning but investigators think the accident happened earlier because Mathews had to be at his job at 5 a.m.
The accident was discovered when five other vehicles were involved in an accident hitting the tree. They called E-911 and emergency responders spotted Matthews’ truck along the tree line.