SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (WREG) — One person is dead, another critically injured, and a section of Highway 51 in DeSoto County, Mississippi was blocked after a police pursuit ended in a wreck Saturday morning.
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Southaven Police said officers from the Horn Lake Police Department were pursuing a stolen vehicle when the wreck happened. Southaven officers were not involved in the pursuit but were in the process of setting up stop sticks near Veterans Drive, just south of Stateline Road.
That’s when the suspect’s vehicle crashed into several other vehicles, police said.
Witnesses said the driver died on the scene. An innocent bystander was taken to hospital in critical condition.
Southaven Police claim the crash occurred prior to them attempting to deploy stop sticks.
The police pursuit ended feet away from Terry Tongumpun’s business.
“I heard tires screech, and I heard boom, boom, boom,” said Tongumpun. “I looked out the door. I peeked my head out and then police sirens came down running down Highway 51 and I just saw them piled up over there.”
Those in the area said the accident is a larger issue of crime which they hope to be addressed soon before another tragedy has to unfold.
“It should make a point to anyone in Memphis trying to commit crimes down here in Southaven and Horn Lake that they’re ready for you, that you can’t escape, and if you try to escape, your life will be in jeopardy. So, think twice, get a job,” said Tongumpun.
They asked drivers to avoid the area around Highway 51 between Veterans Drive and Whitworth for several hours Saturday while they worked on accident reconstruction. MDOT showed a traffic backup in the area.
Southaven Police said this investigation is being handled by the Horn Lake Police Department. We have reached out to Horn Lake Police for additional information and we’re waiting to hear back.