Hancock County

Bay councilwoman hit by vehicle transported to New Orleans hospital

Bay St. Louis Councilwoman Wendy McDonald
Bay St. Louis Councilwoman Wendy McDonald

BAY ST. LOUIS -- Councilwoman Wendy McDonald has been transported to a New Orleans hospital after being hit by a car at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church early Monday.

McDonald was attending a funeral when she and another pedestrian were hit by a vehicle at about 10:30 a.m.

She was immediately taken to Memorial Hospital in Gulfport. At about 5:15 p.m., she was taken via emergency air transport to Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, Bay St. Louis Police Chief Mike De Nardo said.

"I understand that it's a pretty serious head injury," he said.

Mayor Les Fillingame said McDonald was standing on the sidewalk when an elderly man trying to park in a handicapped spot accidentally hit the accelerator.

"It hit Wendy directly. She flew back and hit her head on the concrete. She did not get up."

The police chief said the 88-year-old driver apparently pressed the vehicle's accelerator instead of the brake, sending the car up onto the curb where it struck McDonald and another pedestrian. The car continued traveling, hitting two vehicles before coming to a stop, De Nardo said.

The driver has not been charged.

"It appears he just got confused," De Nardo said.

He identified the other pedestrian as William Mitchell of Gulfport. Mitchell did not suffer any serious injuries, the chief said.

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