Article Comment 

Columbus restaurant owner dies in crash


Neal Wagner


The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.


A 45-year-old Sulligent, Ala., resident and Columbus restaurant owner died Monday morning after a vehicle she was driving collided with an 18-wheeler logging truck. 


Donna Blakney, owner of PJ''s Barbecue near the intersection of 18th Avenue North and Seventh Street North, was pronounced dead shortly after her 2004 Ford Expedition collided head-on with an empty logging truck driven by Amos Jones, 40, of Ethelsville, Ala., according to Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant. 


The wreck happened at about 7:10 a.m. Monday near the intersection of Highway 12 and Dodson Road southeast of Caledonia after an early-morning thunderstorm soaked the area. 


"She (Blakney) was traveling toward Columbus, and the 18-wheeler log truck that was not loaded was traveling toward Alabama," Merchant explained. "After the collision, she was ejected from the vehicle and suffered multiple traumas. 


"It is believed she was not wearing her seat belt," Merchant said. "The ambulance responded and attempted resuscitation, but she was later pronounced dead at (Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle), basically upon arrival." 


After Blakney''s vehicle collided with the truck, her vehicle spun and was struck from behind by a Honda Accord traveling eastbound on Highway 12 and driven by 25-year-old Columbus resident John Reeves. 


"Blakney was the only occupant in the Expedition," Merchant said. "The truck driver was not injured in the wreck, so he wasn''t transported to the hospital." 


Reeves received minor injuries in the crash and was treated and released from BMH-GT. 


Monday night, Blakney''s loved ones had placed a black ribbon on the entrance to her barbecue restaurant. 


Although the small restaurant next to the former Barnhill''s Buffet recently closed, it is scheduled to reopen Aug. 1 in a new location next to Gary''s Pawn and Gun store on Highway 45 North. 


Lowndes County sheriff''s deputies, Mississippi Highway Patrol officers, ambulance crews and Lowndes County District 1 firefighters responded to the scene. 


As of Monday night, an MHP investigation was ongoing, and officers had not determined the cause of the wreck. 


UPDATE: Visitation will be held Thursday, July 16, 2009 from 4-7 p.m. at Dowdle Funeral Home. Services will begin immediately after visitation at Dowdle Funeral Home. Burial will be at Springhill Cemetery in Millport, AL.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment Todd commented at 7/14/2009 10:49:00 AM:

Donna was my next door neighbor and schoolmate as a child. She was wonderful person and I was blessed to have known her. I extend my deepest sympathy to her family and friends. She will be sorely missed.


Article Comment Jeff H commented at 7/14/2009 12:19:00 PM:

Donna was my very good friend's aunt. My Thoughts and Prayers are with her family and friends. Has I have heard she was a very good person and worked very hard.


Article Comment Mark commented at 7/14/2009 12:23:00 PM:

My prayers are with her family and friends. I did not know her well but PJ'S was the best place to get some very good food. To her family and friend's stay strong and think of all the great times you had with her


Article Comment Jill Haaris commented at 7/14/2009 12:26:00 PM:

Donna was a great person. I knew her by going in to PJ's a few times a week. She was a kind and loving person she will be missed very much. My Prayers are with Donna's family and friend's R.I.P Donna


Article Comment Kelly M commented at 7/14/2009 12:35:00 PM:

I don't know how to start this off she was a good friend of my since I have moved down here and my family and I went to PJ's one evening and she was very nice sweet as anyone could be. Her family and friends my thoughts are with you. She was a very kind lady that loved everyone she saw. God Bless the family.


Article Comment Tina commented at 7/14/2009 12:38:00 PM:

My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Alot of people knew her by PJ's just like I did. She was a great person by what I was told. R.I.P


Article Comment Faye Cantrell commented at 7/14/2009 2:14:00 PM:

Donna was truly one of a kind.She was loving and generous and a true friend.I've known her for several years having worked with her at microtex mfg. The world has lost a great person.My sincere condolosence to her family.may she rest in Gods care.


Article Comment Chris W commented at 7/14/2009 4:41:00 PM:

She was a great person she was so kind and sweet when you went in to pj's she will be missed by so may god bless her family and friends.


Article Comment Nichols family commented at 7/14/2009 5:47:00 PM:

We are all so sad to learn of Donna's passing. She was a lovely person and will be missed by all the friends she made in Columbus as well as those in her hometown. May God bless her family during this tragic time.


Article Comment Stop Log Trucks commented at 7/15/2009 7:57:00 AM:

The log trucks think that road is a race track. This accident would not have happened if the Highway Patrol and Butch Howard Sheriff would enforce the laws of the road. Look at how many times residents have asked for help.
Donna's blood is on the hands of the Highway Patrol and Sheriff's Office.


Article Comment M.B commented at 7/15/2009 9:35:00 AM:

This is truely sad and my heart goes out to her family. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.


Article Comment L.S. commented at 7/15/2009 10:40:00 AM:

Donna was very people and community oriented. She was always such a great friend to everyone. Let this be a wake-up call for all of us. Donna leaves a wonderful legacy. In Donna's memory, please give your time and volunteer.
To her family, God bless you and keep u under his wings.


Article Comment Loberta commented at 7/15/2009 5:51:00 PM:

Donna was a very good hearted person she will be missed.God makes no mistakes


Article Comment Sad commented at 7/15/2009 10:19:00 PM:

What a loss. I am sorry.


Article Comment Crystal Cunningham commented at 7/16/2009 2:15:00 PM:

Ms. Donna was a wonderful person and I'm very blessed to have known her! She always had a smile on her face. My deepest sympathy goes out to her family and friends. R.I.P Ms. are truely missed!


Article Comment Mark Lochala commented at 7/16/2009 9:44:00 PM:

What a loss! Donna was very well known for her wonderful personality, great character and tremendous work ethic. She was a blessing to everyone around her. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her and the community upon which she had so great a positive impact.

Rest in peace, Donna!


Article Comment Mark Lochala commented at 7/16/2009 11:46:00 PM:

What a loss! Donna was very well known for her wonderful personality, great character and tremendous work ethic. She was a blessing to everyone around her. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her and the community upon which she had so great a positive impact.

Rest in peace, Donna!


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