Mississippi mother of daughter who died when car plunged into river asks city to take action

Published 6:35 am Monday, May 17, 2021

Officials in Mississippi need to install a barrier that would prevent vehicles from going into the Yazoo River near a rural intersection where one road dead-ends into another, a grieving mother says.

Mary Saffold Sanders’ 37-year-old daughter, Lasheila Williams, and Williams’ 41-year-old boyfriend, Anthony Jones, died this month when they were in a car that ran off a road and plunged into the river near Morgan City.

Sanders is asking Leflore County to build a barrier at the site to prevent the same thing from happening to other motorists, the Greenwood Commonwealth reported.

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“If there’s an opening to that river, there should be a rail,” Sanders told the newspaper.

Williams and Jones had been a couple for about three years. They left Sanders’ home in Morgan City the night of May 6 to return to their home in Itta Bena, riding in Williams’ Toyota Corolla.

The couple went east along County Road 553, Sanders said. The road eventually dead-ends into County Road 259. Motorists are supposed to turn left or right, but the car carrying Williams and Jones kept going straight and went into the river.

Williams and Jones were reported missing the next morning. Later that day, authorities received a call that a car might have been seen in the river. Jones’ body and the car were found May 8. Williams’ body was recovered May 10.

Leflore County Supervisor Robert Collins was at the scene when authorities worked to pull the car from the river. He said he and the other supervisors will examine what type of barrier could be installed.
Sanders said the intersection also needs street lights.

“If they don’t do something now, there’s going to be more fatalities like this,” Sanders said.