Yazoo City man dies after crashing into flood water

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

After crashing into flood waters off a highway bridge, a Yazoo City man was found dead inside his vehicle Thursday morning.

Rufus Anthony Wyatt, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of multisystem trauma.

Yazoo County Coroner Ricky Shivers said Wyatt was traveling west on 1-49 around 4:40 a.m. Thursday when the vehicle left the road, hitting the end of the guard rail at Panther Creek Bridge in Yazoo County.

“The vehicle flipped several times after hitting he guard rail, coming to a rest on the driver’s side,” Shivers said.

Shivers said there were no witnesses to the accident.

“Shortly after 8:30 a.m., an employee of Yazoo Valley was checking areas affected by the flood,” Shivers said. “He noticed a vehicle in the flood waters of the creek. There was about three feet of the vehicle that was on its side in the water.”

First responders were immediately called to the scene, including the Yazoo County Dive Team.

“A wrecker was also sent to the scene, and members of the Dive Team hooked chains to the vehicle, pulling it out of the flood waters,” Shivers said. “(Wyatt) was found in the vehicle in the driver’s seat.”

Terry Gann, chief investigator with the Yazoo County Sheriff’s Department, said speed may have been a factor in the accident.

“It appears that he was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the vehicle,” Gann said. “The Mississippi Highway Patrol crash investigation team was called to the scene, and the investigation was turned over to them.”