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Eight injured when MPD van collides with cement truck

By Staff
ACCIDENT Meridian Police officer James Ramsey documents a Wednesday accident on Highway 11 South near the Meridian Regional Airport. The accident apparently occurred about 10 a.m., when a cement truck and a city truck carrying community service workers collided. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Oct. 11, 2001
A Meridian Police Department transport van collided Wednesday with a cement truck on U.S. 11 South, injuring eight people and air-lifting one of them to a Jackson hospital.
Lt. Wade Johnson, MPD spokesman, said today that he didn't know the names, conditions or extent of injuries for seven of the victims all passengers of the MPD van who were working off city fines.
The eighth victim, identified by Mississippi Highway Patrol Sgt. Ronnie Carter, was the driver of the MPD van: Terry W. Aldridge, 42, of Toomsuba. Johnson said the driver suffered serious injuries.
Johnson said the Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the accident because it occurred outside city limits. Johnson said the MPD is doing an internal investigation because it involved a city vehicle.
Carter said the accident occurred at about 10:20 a.m. between 50 and 100 yards south of Meridian city limits, when an MPD Chevrolet van collided with an MMC Materials concrete truck.
The accident left the city van severely damaged and blocked traffic for more than an hour from using part of U.S. 11. Law officers kept people away from the crash scene.
Carter said that Anthony F. Ruffin, 35, driver of the MMC Materials 1999 Mack truck, was apparently not injured and was not hospitalized.
Carter said all eight people in the MPD van were transported to local emergency rooms by Metro Ambulance. He said four went to Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, three to Riley Hospital and one to Rush Foundation Hospital.
Johnson said one victim was treated and released and that others were still being treated late Wednesday. Besides the driver, he said, two others suffered serious injuries.
Johnson said one of the victims was later air-lifted to a Jackson hospital.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Richard May, who responded to the accident call, said the victims went to different hospitals because some injuries appeared more critical than others.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at