CATEGORY: CAC Car Accidents

AUTHOR: TALBER

HED:Six ICC basketball players injured in midnight wreck

By Mike Talbert

Daily Journal

Six members of the Itawamba Community College basketball team were injured about midnight Tuesday when their van left the Natchez Trace Parkway and went into Pontocola Creek.

ICC coach Wayne Newsom said none of the players was seriously injured in the wreck which occurred about six miles south of Tupelo. All were released after being treated at North Mississippi Medical Center.

"Those kids are lucky," said park ranger Andy Atkins, who was called to the wreck. "They were lucky to have survived the impact."

The team was returning from a 71-67 win at Holmes Community College in Goodman.

The driver of the van, ICC forward Steven Dabbs, and teammates Michael Trimble and Travis Carter required stitches. Forward Darian Scott and guards Gary Peete and Brian Childs suffered bruises. Newsom said Childs may also have a minor neck injury.

The injuries leave ICC's game Thursday at Southwest Mississippi Community College in question.

"I don't know yet, but I doubt we can play by then. But if we do, it will probably be with (only) five players," Newsom said.

The Indians have an 11-man roster.

He said he expects to make a decision today. He said he didn't think the injuries would end the season for the six players.

"They took X-rays, and there were no bones broken," Newsom said.

Newsom said the team bus had broken down earlier and the two Indian teams had traveled to Goodman in school vans. The Lady Indians had already returned after their win in the first game.

The Indians were traveling up the Trace in two vans, with Newsom driving the lead van. Newsom said he saw lights flickering on the trailing van driven by Dabbs and went back to check on them.

"It was raining real hard and the wind was blowing, and they went off the shoulder and into the creek," Newsom said.

Atkins said after the van left the Trace it hydroplaned across a field and flew across the creek before settling back into the water. Atkins said the wet conditions kept Dabbs from stopping the van before he got to the creek.

Newsom said the water was high and coming over the van when he and the others got to it. The six men were able to get out of the van, which eventually washed about 100 yards down the creek.

The injured men were loaded into the other van and taken to Tupelo.

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