December 8, 2009 10:54:00 AM
A longtime newspaper carrier, who was preparing to deliver Sunday''s edition of The Starkville Dispatch, was seriously injured when his vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer.
Winston "Ringo" Minor was on his way to pick up newspapers at Clayton Village Mini Storage Sunday at around 2:30 a.m. when an 18-wheeler "T-boned" Minor''s vehicle at the Highway 182-Highway 82 interchange, said fellow carrier Mary Tallent, who was waiting for Minor at the drop location when the accident occurred.
Tallent became worried when Minor still had not shown up at the drop location at around 2:15 a.m., so she called him on his cellular phone. Minor told Tallent he was five or 10 minutes away, Tallent recalled Monday.
Shortly after Tallent and Minor got off the phone together, she heard the accident take place. Tallent''s grandson was with her and also heard the wreck.
"He said, ''I think that''s a wreck,''" Tallent recalled. "And I said, ''I hope that''s not Winston.''"
But it was. Before she knew it, fire trucks and emergency vehicles were responding to the scene, so Tallent and her grandson drove to the interchange and saw that it was Minor.
Minor''s dog, a gray German Shepherd named Abigail, always rode with him while he delivered papers and was in the vehicle during the crash, Tallent said. The dog wasn''t injured when the truck slammed into the driver''s side of Minor''s vehicle, Tallent said.
Minor was transported to Oktibbeha County Hospital, then taken by helicopter to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He was in critical condition Monday evening.
Attempts to get additional information from the Mississippi Highway Patrol, which responded to the scene, were unsuccessful. Brian Mobley from the Mississippi Highway Patrol office said he should be able to provide more information on the accident later today.
Tallent saw Minor while he was still at Oktibbeha County Hospital and spoke with him briefly.
"He had blood all over him," Tallent said. "He had some serious wounds to his face and head."
Minor''s family is only allowed to visit him five to 10 minutes per day in the intensive care unit at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Tallent said. His wife, Ingrid, is back in Starkville after spending Sunday and much of Monday in Jackson.
The couple met when Minor was stationed in Germany during World War II, Tallent said. Ingrid Minor was born and raised in Germany, Tallent said.
But Tallent has known Minor for 30 years and was more than willing to talk about her longtime friend.
"He''s a really good person," Tallent said. "He''s always willing to help anybody, but he didn''t take any bull off anybody either. He''s an old military guy, so you can probably imagine how he was."
"Ringo is a great carrier," said Dispatch Circulation Manager Carol Talley. "He and Abigail have been part of The Dispatch family for many years. Everybody recognizes Abigail and Ringo. Abigail was always with him and always strapped in.
"Mary said, she wouldn''t let the cops into the truck until one of them said, ''Abigail, you''re going to have to more over and let us see Ringo.''"
1. Ball family member denies connection to Black Friday boycott COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. 10 apply for Columbus police chief so far COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY