Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Emergency personnel lined Highway 6 at the scene of a wreck that claimed the lives of William and Lynda Irwin Tuesday. Photo by Angie Ledbetter

By John Howell
Panola County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Terry Smith is recovering from minor injuries following a crash that killed two people Tuesday at the Highway 6/278 intersection with Terza Road.

William Irwin, 81, and his wife, Lynda Irwin, 75, died from injuries when their 2006 Buick Ranier, traveling east on Highway 6, was struck by the investigator’s 2007 Chevrolet Silverado as he crossed the highway traveling north on Terza Road, according to information provided by Panola County Coroner Gracie Grant-Gulledge and State Trooper Marvin Baird.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident, Baird said.

Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said that Smith told him that he remembers stopping on the south side of the intersection, then proceeding north into the crossover  but doesn’t remember the impact or sequence of events immediately surrounding it.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Our prayers go out to the family,” Darby said. “I can’t imagine.”

The sheriff said that he and Chief Deputy Chris Franklin had met with family members Wednesday to express sympathy.

Blood samples were obtained from everyone involved as a matter of routine procedure, Darby said, to screen for alcohol and/or drugs.

“Anytime you have a fatality involved, they’re going to draw blood,” the sheriff said. Nothing positive was indicated, he said.

Smith and other authorities had been seeking a suspect but had “pulled back,” Darby said, after the suspect’s mother agreed to bring him to authorities with her.

The Irwins were airlifted from the scene en route to the Med in Memphis but “coded,” forcing the helicopter to land at Baptist DeSoto, the coroner said. Flight rules require the aircraft to land at the nearest hospital under those circumstances, she said.