Mississippi sheriff: Driver in head-on crash that sent four to hospital has two prior DUI convictions

Published 1:33 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The driver of the van involved in the two-vehicle crash that sent four people to the hospital on Sunday has been convicted twice in the past for driving under the influence.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said his deputies at the scene were immediately focused on rendering aid to victims of the crash.

However, the driver of the 2015 Dodge Caravan van was issued a citation at the hospital for driving without a license.

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That was later upgraded to driving on a suspended license. Travis Council, 41, was driving the van when it collided head-on with a 1998 GMC Sierra driven by Payton Clark, who was alone in his vehicle. Council and Clark, along with Council’s passengers, Carson Pressgrove and Dylan Pressgrove, were all seriously injured in the crash.

The crash occurred Sunday late afternoon on Kingston Road near its intersection with McCalip Retirement Plantation Road.

A German Shepard, also a passenger in the van Council was driving, was killed on impact, deputies said.

Three of the four passengers needed to be airlifted to trauma centers. Patten said all four involved are still hospitalized and being treated for their injuries.

A family member of Dylan Pressgrove posted on social media on Wednesday morning that he is on a ventilator at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge and is “fighting for his life.” Dylan Pressgrove is paralyzed from a vehicle crash that happened years ago and requires a wheelchair.

“We could not do field sobriety tests because of the condition of the drivers. However, we had blood drawn on all and have those results back. We are now consulting with doctors to ensure those results are accurate,” Patten said. “Once we have an accurate determination, we can decide whether to press charges.”

Patten said Council was convicted of driving under the influence charges on May 4, 2006, and again was convicted of driving under the influence on Jan. 5, 2013. Patten said deputies who are involved in investigating and reconstructing the details of the crash have a search warrant for the mechanisms known as black boxes on both vehicles that will provide information about whether seatbelts were worn, how the vehicle was being driven and the speed of the vehicle at the time of the crash.

“It is still an ongoing investigation,” Patten said.