Joby Bennett was turning 20 on Aug. 14, and he was planning on celebrating with friends at the river — it was his favorite place to hang out.
But instead of planning a birthday party, his parents are making funeral arrangements on Sunday, his mother, Pam Bennett, said.
Joby Bennett died Saturday sometime after 10:30 p.m. when a vehicle struck him and a woman on U.S. 90 in Pearlington near the Mississippi-Louisiana state line.
“He was headed home when he seen a girl in the rain, standing on the Cowan Bayou Bridge,” Pam Bennett told the Sun Herald. “He turned around to help her.”
Officials said Joby Bennett and the woman were in the emergency lane when a vehicle hit both of them. He was pronounced dead on the scene, Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk said.
“He was my baby,” Pam Bennett said. “He was my hero.”
Joby Bennett was a country boy with a heart of gold who loved fishing, mud riding, hanging out with his friends and working on his Dodge, Pam Bennett said. He graduated from Hancock High School last year.
“He loved God, and he loved his country music — the louder, the better,” she said. “He was so loving, (he) would give you the shirt off his back.”
Joby Bennett was Pam and Bubba Bennett’s youngest child. Their daughter, Courtney Jordan, is 22. Pam Bennett said the entire family was very close. They would often go out hunting together — Pam Bennett said she and her husband started taking Joby along for rides in the woods when he was just an infant.
“But fishing was his life,” she said. He often set out his line into the Pearl River, a waterway that was just 2 miles from his front door. He loved catching speckled trout and bass, Pam Bennett said, and also enjoyed “crawfishin’” with his father.
Pam Bennett said the accident was a “blur” and she and the rest of her family are mourning and have been surrounded by loved ones.
“Please pray for our family, we will need it in the upcoming days, weeks and years to follow,” Bennett posted on Facebook Sunday morning.
Funeral arrangements will be made through Riemann Family Funeral Home on Kiln-Delisle Road in Pass Christian.