Editor’s note: This story was originally published July 6, 2015.
A 27-year-old D’Iberville woman, known as a fashionista and a woman of faith, is in stable but serious condition after a head-on collision a week ago in Biloxi.
Bethanie Jones’ injuries from the June 30 crash on Popp’s Ferry Road include numerous broken bones and crushed ankles.
After being hospitalized, she suffered a stroke that may have paralyzed her left arm, and has undergone surgery to reduce swelling on her brain due to a broken bone at the base of the skull.
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“Her doctor is optimistic, but she’s still got a long way to go,” said her mother, Bettye Jones.
“Prayer changes everything. We are praying, and many are praying with us.”
The crash occurred about 5:18 p.m. as Bethanie Jones was heading home from her job at Stein Mart in Biloxi.
The D’Iberville High graduate has worked there as a visual merchandiser since she earned an associate’s degree in that career field. She dresses mannequins and designs store displays.
She lives with her parents who are longtime D’Iberville residents, and has embraced their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Her mother is a longtime employee in the jewelry department at Dillard’s and worked there when the store was a Gayfer’s. Her father, S.T. Jones, is retired from the Air Force and is a registered nurse at the VA Hospital.
“She’s not only my best friend, she’s my right hand,” her mother said. “We’re so much alike, we go shopping together. We talk together. She looks at clothes with me and tells me what color of lipstick looks best on me.
“She’s the kind of daughter everybody wants.”
‘Truly an angel’
Amber Weems said Bethanie Jones is like a sister to her. They’ve been close friends for more than nine years and call each other “best friend soulmates.”
Weems said she admires the way her friend treats others with grace and tenderness and makes time to listen to others even if she’s busy.
“She chooses her words and actions with such love and kindness that everyone who meets her adores her,” Weems said.
“She truly is an angel.”
Her older brother, Roderrick Jones, said she always finds the good in others and speaks only positive words.
He said it hurts to see his sister maimed and hooked up to a breathing tube, unable to speak. Sometimes, he said, she will give someone “a thumb’s up.” He said it was encouraging to see her grab the hand of a church elder who came to visit.
“She can’t open her eyes,” he said. “They’re swollen shut.
“I went in the other day and said, ‘Bethanie, I love you. You got to get better, OK?’ She nodded her head and she teared up a bit. I just dropped to the floor.”
She is breathing a bit on her own, and the breathing equipment is set on the lowest level, her mother said.
Relatives said they believe she hears them and understands when they talk to her.
Asking for help
A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money for medical expenses. There’s also a Facebook page named Prayers for Bethanie.
Bettye Jones said the accident shouldn’t have happened, and could have been avoided.
“If we didn’t have faith, I don’t know what we would do,” she said.
“Bad things can happen, but God can give you the strength to endure things Satan causes.”
After the collision, Biloxi police arrested William McKinnley Horner, 28, of Gulfport, on a misdemeanor DUI charge.
Horner was released on a $1,285 bond, a standard bond in Biloxi Municipal Court.
The investigation is ongoing pending the processing of evidence to include results of a court-ordered blood test, police Lt. Christopher De Back said Monday.