Crime

Man and woman ejected in Coast crash. Then the man left the scene, police say.

Kenneth Atwell
Kenneth Atwell Harrison County Adult Detention Center

A male driver and his female passenger were ejected in a crash after the man tried to pass a turning vehicle, police say.

The driver got up and fled the scene, leaving his injured passenger and the driver of the other vehicle at the crash site, D’Iberville police Capt. Marty Griffin said.

The crash occurred about 5:33 p.m. Tuesday at Lamey Bridge and Lickskillet roads.

Police suspect 29-year-old Kenneth Atwell, of Vancleave, was driving impaired at the time of the crash, Griffin said.

Atwell returned to the scene after officers arrived, but he may face felony charges depending on the medical status of his passenger, Griffin said.

Why he allegedly fled isn’t clear.

Atwell was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck on Lamey Bridge and was following a 2015 Kia Soul, Griffin said.

Initial investigation and witness statements show the driver of the Kia was making a left-hand turn to the west to reach Lickskillet when Atwell tried to pass her, he said.

The truck hit the Kia on the front driver’s side, causing the truck to leave the road in a southbound lane and return to a northbound lane before the truck overturned, Griffin said.

Atwell’s passenger, 21-year-old Mardi Gollott of Biloxi, was flown to Mobile, Ala., for emergency medical treatment at the University of South Alabama Medical Center. Her condition was listed as stable, he said.

A private vehicle took the driver of the Kia from the scene. No information was available on the driver’s condition or whether Atwell and the other driver know each other.

Police arrested Atwell on misdemeanor charges of DUI, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and having no driver’s license and no proof of insurance. His bonds total $7,116.

The investigation continues and other charges could be filed, Griffin said. The charges could include DUI resulting in serious injuries.

Atwell made headlines in January 2017 when he and other man reportedly stabbed each other while riding in a car on Lamey Bridge Road. Atwell was a passenger in the car, which landed in a ditch during the stabbings, Griffin said in 2017.

Atwell was stabbed in his chest and arm. The driver was stabbed in his head and neck.

Investigators were unable to get much information from the men, Griffin said at the time.

No charges were filed in the stabbings, he said Wednesday.

Atwell is a felon with convictions on malicious mischief and possession of a firearm by a felon, the county jail docket shows.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews
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