Fatal accident kills sheriff's deputy in Coahoma County - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fatal accident kills sheriff's deputy in Coahoma County

Coahoma County Deputy Sheriff Jerry Wayne Hudgins died Friday in a one-vehicle accident near Mississippi Highway 1 west of Clarksdale.

Sheriff Andrew Thompson Junior says the 43-year-old Hudgins was responding to a call to Stovall Grocery when his car left Stovall Road and hit a tree.

The accident occurred about 9:50 p.m. Thompson says Hudgins was going to investigate a report of some suspicious guys at the grocery.

"Deputy Hudgins and two other patrol cars were on their way out to this general store that had been robbed about 10 days ago. Someone inside the store called to report some suspicious men lurking in the parking lot," adds Thompson.

The sheriff says three deputies were dispatched in separate vehicles. Thompson says a deputy who was following Hudgins along Stovall Road reported seeing blue lights and then they disappeared.

Thompson says the deputy began to back track on Stovall Road and discovered Hudgins' vehicle slammed into a tree. "We don't know what happened, what he was doing. Maybe something moved in the car but he lost control," says Thompson.

Hudgins was a 10 year veteran of the Coahoma County Sheriff's Department. "Wayne is going to be a hard deputy to replace, truly I speak from the heart on that," adds Thompson.

Investigators believe he was killed instantly. A patriotic bouquet of flowers marks the tree where Hudgins car came to rest.

An autopsy has been ordered.

County Coroner Scotty Meredith pronounced Hudgins dead at the scene.

Thompson says Hudgins started out as a part-time deputy in October 1996. Hudgins completed his training at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Academy and became a full-time deputy in October 2003.

"Just a good down to earth deputy," says Thompson.

Hudgins death is the first fatality at the Coahoma County sheriff's department in 53 years.

Friends say the 43-year-old father of three will be missed by his family, the community and his comrades.

Funeral services are scheduled 2 p.m. Tuesday at Clarksdale Baptist Church.

Click here to email Anna Marie Hartman.

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