Hancock County

Diamondhead man killed in crash after failing to stop for police

A Diamonhead man died Thursday night after crashing his vehicle during a police pursuit in Hancock County.

Hancock County sheriff’s Chief Investigator Glen Grannan told the Sun Herald the incident happened just after 7 p.m.

“We got a call about someone driving erratically to the point where it seemed like the driver could be intoxicated,” Grannan said. “A Diamondhead police officer was able to spot the vehicle.”

Grannan said the vehicle, a “small SUV,” would not stop for the police and a second officer joined the “observation.”

“There was nothing high speed about this, and it was more of an observation than a pursuit. We are trained to make everything as safe as possible and not to escalate situations if we can,” he said. “But when the driver hit the curve on Diamondhead Drive, he left the road and hit a large tree.”

Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk said 62-year-old James Bevis of Diamondhead died at the scene of the crash.

A family friend told the Sun Herald that Bevis’ was “on the phone with his sister right before the crash” and that he “did not seem like himself.” The friend said the family speculates that Bevis may have had a seizure or a medical issue before the crash.

“It’s a really unfortunate situation and it’s very sad,” Grannan said.

Grannan said investigators are awaiting the results of Bevis’ toxicology screening.