GLENDORA — The bodies of three adults were recovered Thursday morning from a sport-utility vehicle found overturned and largely submerged in the waters of Black Bayou near here.
The 2004 Lincoln Aviator, driven by Dale Robertson, 47, of Ruleville, was northbound on U.S. 49 East when it left the roadway and collided with a guardrail before plunging into the waters below, according to Sgt. Marvin N. Baird Sr., public affairs officer for Troop E of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
"As a result of this crash, three individuals were killed," Baird noted.
He identified the other occupants as Henry Chairs, 69, of Holcomb, and Lizzie Anderson, 43, of Webb.
Tallahatchie County Coroner Ginger Meriwether said all three appear to have died of freshwater drowning.
This 2004 Lincoln Aviator was pulled from Black Bayou near Glendora Thursday morning. Three people died after the vehicle left the roadway and landed bottom up in the water about 50 feet away. (Photo by Clay McFerrin)
When the crash occurred, the Lincoln was traveling on a detour road adjacent to the newly constructed but not yet completed Black Bayou Bridge on 49 East. Splintered wood pilings and mangled pieces of metal guardrail mark the spot where the automobile went off the west shoulder of the detour road, near the entrance to a detour bridge. The bridge is situated about eight-tenths of a mile southeast of Sturdivant Road.
The driver of a semitruck crossing the detour bridge early Thursday spotted signs of a vehicle in the water and dialed 911, according to a dispatcher at the Tallahatchie County Jail in Sumner, who said the 911 call was logged in at 6:37 a.m.
Later, an official said the two rear tires and the trailer hitch of the vehicle were about all that was visible above the waterline.
The cause of the crash, and exactly when it happened, are under investigation.
IN THE TOP PHOTO: The mangled remains of a guardrail show the location near Black Bayou Bridge (under construction at left) and a detour bridge where an SUV carrying three people crashed. The inflatable bag in the water marks the approximate spot where the vehicle was found. (Photo by Clay McFerrin)