Civilian vehicle cuts off military convoy on 55
RIDGELAND — A civilian vehicle cut off a military convoy last Thursday in Ridgeland sending 10 soldiers to the hospital, the authorities said.
Five military vehicles en route to southern Louisiana to assist with Hurricane Ida recovery were in the accident that sent 10 soldiers to a Jackson hospital with minor injuries, the authorities said.
Original reports mentioned as many as six vehicles but a release from Mississippi National Guard Director of Public Affairs LTC Deidre Smith confirmed on Friday that five military vehicles were involved in the accident.
“The cause of the accident is currently under investigation,” Smith said.
Ridgeland Police Lt. Brian Myers said last week after the incident that the military vehicles crashed into each other after being cut off by a civilian vehicle.
“In a nutshell, we had a civilian cut a military convoy off and the lead vehicle in the convoy had to slam on the brakes to avoid the civilian vehicle,” Myers said.
He said that caused a “chain reaction” on I-55 South at the I-220 split leading to the collision of the military vehicles and injuring 10 soldiers who were in the transport.
The soldiers were then transported to area hospitals for treatment of minor injuries.
“The MSNG is very grateful to the first responders and medical personnel who assisted our Soldiers after the accident yesterday,” Smith said in the Friday statement. “We would like to use this opportunity to highlight the importance of safety on the roadways around military convoys. It is extremely dangerous for cars to change lanes through a military convoy.”
Smith said Friday that all but one soldier had been discharged from Jackson area hospitals and that all were expected to make full recoveries. All involved were from the Mississippi National Guard’s 223rd Engineer Battalion.
“Out of an abundance of caution while ensuring that all Soldiers involved in this accident have received the proper medical evaluation needed and the timely completion updating their medical documents, these soldiers will not be deploying forward for Hurricane Ida support,” Smith said. “Our mission is not degraded as approximately 240 MSNG Soldiers are joining forces with the Louisiana National Guard to provide Hurricane Ida relief to the citizens of Louisiana. The Soldiers traveled to Louisiana in multiple convoys.”
The Interstate 220 ramp leading from I-55 southbound was closed for quite a while so the U.S. Army could tow their equipment from the area, Myers said. No civilian vehicles were involved in the crash.