I-20 accident kills 1
Greg Jenson/The Clarion-Ledger
Jackson emergency workers assist at an accident scene after a car-bus accident Saturday on I-20 West, past the Ellis Avenue intersection. The driver of the car was killed. Traffic was backed up for miles near the intersection of I-20 West and I-220 North.
A Brandon woman died Saturday in an accident with a school bus as she approached traffic that was slowing because of ongoing road construction on I-20 West.
Elizabeth Windham, 44, was nearing the I-220 North interchange on I-20 West about 3:45 p.m. when the white Pontiac Bonneville she was driving slammed into the rear of a school bus from Tri-County Academy in Flora, Jackson police spokesman Robert Graham said.
Graham said Windham was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she died shortly after arriving.
On board the school bus were several baseball players and coaches. They were heading back to the school in Flora when the accident occurred.
No one on the bus was injured. Players, coaches and parents would not comment.
The crash forced police to halt traffic on I-20 West near Ellis Avenue for about 15-20 minutes. Before the accident, traffic had slowed on I-20 West in the area, but didn't stop entirely, authorities said. Investigators are trying to determine if that was a contributing factor.
Ray Trimm, a truck driver who witnessed the accident, said he'* not sure if Windham knew traffic had slowed down.
"She was in the left lane and immediately crossed over into the middle lane," Trimm said at the scene.
"I guess that'* when she noticed the traffic jam, but when she slammed on the brakes, she slid under the bus," Trimm said.
"I stopped and got out to see how she was doing, but she didn't have a pulse. That'* when I called 911," he said.
Mississippi Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amy Hornback said motorists need to be extra vigilant when driving into work zone areas.
"The two major reasons for work site accidents are speeding and inattentive driving," Hornback said. "When drivers see the signs for slowing down in work zone areas, they usually wait until the last minute before making that move to the next lane.
"Even if workers aren't present, a work zone area is still considered a work site."