July 28, 2014 3:07:32 PM
Three Columbus men were killed in a one-car accident early Sunday morning after their vehicle left the road and hit a tree.
Tyler Nelson Thompson, 22, Dontay Orlando Evans, 32, and Eddie Lee, 40, died when Thompson lost control of his Nissan sedan and hit a tree on Officer's Lake Road in northern Lowndes County.
Two surviving passengers, whose names were not released, were transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle for their injuries.
The accident occurred between midnight and 1 a.m., according to Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant.
One of the surviving passengers called 911 from his cell phone but due to the accident's close proximity to Clay County, Clay County 911 received the initial call for help, Merchant said. The passenger was unfamiliar with the area and unable to tell dispatchers of his location. Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott said his deputies searched the area between Highway 50 and Highway 353 before Lowndes County deputies found the car in Lowndes County.
Marc Miley, chief deputy with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department, said it took officers approximately 10 minutes to locate the vehicle.
Lowndes County deputies were on scene at 1:30 a.m., Miley said.
Thompson, Evans and Lee were pronounced dead at the scene.
Evans was the back left seat passenger and Lee was riding in the back center seat. While none of the three were ejected, none were wearing seat-belts, Merchant said.
All three men died of blunt force trauma.
Merchant said speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the incident.
The three men had been at The Princess Theatre in downtown Columbus. Alcohol was found in the wrecked vehicle, Merchant said.
Autopsies will not be performed on the men but a toxicology report will be preformed on Thompson.
Lowndes Funeral Home will be handling Thompson's arrangements. Lee-Sykes is handling Evans' and Carter's Mortuary in West Point is handling Lee's.
The accident is under investigation by the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
1. West Lowndes principal resigns COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Columbus cheer squads competing in national event COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. MSU Student Association slams religious freedom bill STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. Man charged after gun in church incident COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY