CATEGORY: CAC Car Accidents

AUTHOR: GIBSON

HED:Family thanks 'miracle' for teen not being injured in accident

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

One Lee County family has its own miracle to celebrate this Easter.

Joseph "Bubba" Jernigan, 19, of Lee County, fell asleep while driving from Okolona early Friday morning along the Natchez Trace Parkway, said his mother, Frances Jernigan. Even though the Ford truck was destroyed in the accident, Jernigan walked away without injury.

"Miracles still happen," Frances Jernigan said.

The truck ran off the road just south of the Troy-Shannon Road, passing between a large tree and a concrete culvert headwall, said Natchez Trace Park Ranger Jeff Penney, who took the accident report Friday morning. The truck catapulted over a stream, and came to rest right side up.

"If the truck had been a couple of feet to the right or left, it would have been a much more serious accident," Penney said.

The doctor who examined Jernigan at the emergency room Friday morning told the family that their family was very lucky.

"The doctor said we should get a piece of the truck to put on the mantle, because that heavy truck saved his life," Frances Jernigan said.

The Jernigans also have some anonymous good Samaritans to thank for bringing their son home safely.

After the accident, Bubba Jernigan climbed back up to the roadway, and a passing car stopped to help him, Frances Jernigan said. A woman and her son, who were driving to Iuka, brought her son home. Still fazed by the accident, Bubba Jernigan didn't get their names.

"We really appreciate that," Frances Jernigan said.

It is not uncommon for fatigue to play a part in accidents reported on the Natchez Trace, Penney said.

"Fatigue is a concern for people who drive the Natchez Trace," Penney said.

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