Fulton wildlife officer killed on duty

COLLUM

COLLUM

By JB Clark

Daily Journal

FULTON – A Fulton teen is charged in the death of Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Master Sgt. John Collum, who was struck by a vehicle and killed Friday night.

Cody Weaver, 19, is charged with negligent homicide after officials allege he struck Collum while traveling approximately 75 miles per hour on John Rankin Highway.

Collum, 56, of Fulton, was on foot investigating reports of a prowler along the highway around 10 p.m. when officials allege Weaver’s 2002 Nissan Sentra struck him.

Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson said the skid marks in the road are 300 feet long, from the point of impact to the location where the vehicle finally came to a stop.

The road, Dickinson said, is windy and hilly and should be driven at about 35 miles per hour, though there is no posted speed limit since it is a county road. The approximate speed was determined by a Mississippi Highway Patrol accident reconstruction team.

Dickinson said Weaver remained at the scene and was taken into custody. His blood sample was sent to the crime lab in Batesville. His bond was set at $200,000.

Officers are sorting through evidence to see if there are any other factors that would lead to any additional charges.

Collum was a 15-year veteran of the MDWFP and was named the 2012 Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Officer of the Year, placing him at the top of a 17-state area.

jb.clark@journalinc.com

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  • Barbara Collum

    I love you big brother. You are greatly missed!

    • Mikki Gutierrez

      My thoughts and prayers are with you all. ..Mikki Gutierrez, HR Administrator, Oklahoms Dept. Of Wildlife

    • Karen Zettler George

      So sorry for your loss Barbara Jo. Praying for you and your family during this time.

  • UncleKarma

    Anyone who knows about the actual circumstances care to elaborate. Was the wildlife CO parked in a traffic lane ? Outside his vehicle? driving? have his headlights on since he was trying to approach a prowler call? Not saying the kid wasn’t speeding but there might be more to this and their just going to hang the kid for everything. Come on Mississippi Journal put those reporter goggles on and find out some facts.

    • james

      there is no traffic lane, stupid. it’s a 2 lane road.

    • afman

      Other kids were in the car and they have said they were drinking and smoking pot before the accident i have no sympathy for a drunk driver hitting anyone……

      • Barbara Collum

        I can sympathize with the driver and his family. Their lives have changed forever too. We have all been careless teenagers at some point. This should be a wake up call for the community to slow down on that road and pay attention. It could be a deer running across the road to kill everbody in the car. Please buckle up, drive the speed limit, and pay attention.

        • LM

          Mrs. Barbara, I applaud you for being an adult and for taking this situation and dealing with it in a mature manner without trying to place blame on anyone. Instead of being angry, you try to understand the situation from all angles and don’t try to point fingers or question the what-ifs. John touched many lives in his time here on Earth and now maybe his death will touch that many more. There are so many being affected by this, your family, the neighbors family, the drivers family, and the many officers who worked along side him and if there is anything positive that can come from this, I hope that it is that all of these people can band together and use this to teach others the importance of safety. God bless you and your family and all the others affected. I am so sorry for your loss and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

      • Allie Moore

        There was no alcohol or drugs involved in the accident… Cody is one of my close friends, and my brother was in the vehicle.. Cody has just gotten off work, and was going to pick my brother up.. On the way back to town is when it happened. If there was drugs or alcohol involved they would have all been arrested. Thank you very much..

    • Barbara Collum

      UncleKarma. This is a 2 lane road my brother was walking. Its a dangerous curvy hilly dark road. A neighbor had called him thinking he may have a prowler. John, still in uniform after work, decided to walk over to the neighbors house to investigate a possible prowler at 10pm. He was on the phone with the neighbor walking on the side of the road and the speeding car hit him. He was not in the road. The neighbor witnessed it from inside his house. He died instantly from the impact basically in front of his and his neighbors home. Careless people get a thrill seeing how fast they can maneuver that road. Most of the time they wreck into a ditch or wrap themselves around a tree but this time it was my John answering a prowler call.

      • UncleKarma

        Sincere condolences for your loss

      • Miranda_k

        My dad, the neighbor, called Mr. John because the prowler was on Mr. John’s land not our own. My parents have lived beside Mr. John for over 30 years. They have always watched out for each other’s things. The land across from our house was Mr. John’s. The newspaper articles have it stated as he was coming to check a prowler on our land. My dad called him as a friend not an officer because that was the right thing to do. Those people were not supposed to be over there. I appreciate you taking up for my family during this time. God bless you all and I pray for all of you along with everyone involved. Thank you so much.

    • Tina Garrison-Kirby

      Get in your car and take a ride.

  • Larry & Barbara Collum

    We are very saddened to hear this. John Thomas was a good person and will be missed by his family and friends. Our prayers are with his family during this sad time. We know that God will get you through this difficult time.

    • brad foote

      To mrs barbara I am so sorry To hear this Mr john was one of the best men I knew and loved his job and I enjoyed talking to him when I was fishing and comin out of the woods the first time I meet him I was 12 years old up by the old airport running dogs he told me were to go to see the deer I will truly miss h and won’t never forget our talks and cuttin up having fun rip Mr john

  • james

    the fulton police, sheriff’s department and highway patrol know of the speeding up and down john rankin and have never done anything about it. this is a daily occurrence. i live on a connecting road and can’t go to my mailbox without nearly being hit. why didn’t those people call the police? the reason is, there is all kinds of drug activity going on there and there were many people in that house. so why call a neighbor to check out a prowler at a residence full of people?….they didn’t want their drug activity found out. if the police and highway patrol did their jobs and listened to those who live on that road, this wouldn’t have happened.

    • afman

      well since you live on a connecting road you idiot why don’t you go check out all the orange investigation marks in the road and enlighten us with your superior knowledge as to what really happened…

      • james

        let’s see, the krause’ called him because they didn’t want police sniffing around their illegal crap going on at their house, so they call a wildlife officer to check out a prowler. he obviously was not smart enough to call the police, decides to look around and walks out in the road where a speeding teen moron was flying down the road, like all the other drivers. he was paying more attention to his friends and didn’t see the idiot standing in the road and plows into him, killing collum on impact. that do it for u.

        • guest

          You are a sad person.

        • guest

          Calling a man an idiot who gave his life doing his job says a lot about you. Go back under your rock and stay.

          • afman

            Just to verify my comment was not calling Mr. John an idiot I was speaking to James who apperantely assumes he is all knowing about everything. Mr John has over the paat 4 years that i have known him has been an exceptional person to myself and anyone else that has had the privlidge to have met him.

          • guest

            I wasn’t speaking to you. I was speaking to James ,who now calls himself Ken.

        • Barbara Collum

          Don’t start rumors and ad lib from your warped imagination. Thats immature and inappropriate.

        • guest

          I predict a ban from this forum in your near future.

    • Barbara Collum

      You are making things up and should be ashamed of yourself. Put the pipe down and get back in school. Your imagination is not appropriate here. Its abnormal and you need serious help.

    • Miranda_k

      I left you a reply at the top of the page.

  • Mike Mills

    John you were the best. We will miss you forever.

  • Sharon

    Sorry to hear of this. That road is like a no mans land & about 70 is the average speed driven on it. All the times I’ve been up & down John Rankin, I don’t recall seeing any law enforcement.

    • guest

      Like you said you are not on that road all the time.

    • james

      because there’s never any. last time there was any law on that road was at Freddie brown’s house when he let that kid die on his property. even then the law knew of his drug and booze parties.

      • barney fife

        What’s the matter james … invitation to the party lost in the mail?

      • Guest

        John was a great man, officer and has a wonderful family and friends so maybe you should take your crazy actuation somewhere else
        It was not a kid who died and it was not at Freddie’s, and he did not let anyone die so maybe you should get your facts straight b4 you comment on something you clearly know nothing about!

        • Jerk

          Hey Guest: Do you not read the paper or watch the news? About 6 years ago a man was beaten to death on Freddie’s property. Freddie did nothing allowing this person suffer for hours before he called for help. Then helped the killer get away. Everyone in Itawamba county INCLUDING the county law agencies knew these were going on and did nothing like usual. Gerald was spreading the word recently about how they just got off parole and was inviting people back up there for parties, like previous ones that featured illegal drugs and alcohol. Maybe you need to stop looking down your nose at people. Not everyone are angels, but families see only the good in such bad family members. They see the world thru rose colored classes.

          • Barbara Collum

            James,,hmmm,,tthat’s a start. Best be lacing up those running shoes

  • Gerrie Seymore

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers…Gerrie Seymore NEMS Wildlife REHABILITATION

  • Jerk

    He wasn’t the salt of the earth. My family has known his for 50 years. There’s a lot of skeletons in those closets. Ms. Collum, your brother knew the traffic on that road. He should’ve known better than walking around in the dark looking for some made up prowler. Maybe you should be talking to those who called him asking him to do that instead of calling the law. Remember he who is without sin cast the first stone, and you’ve been chucking a lot of them.

    You don’t like how someone speaks, then change the constitution. Otherwise it’s free speech. It’s not your job to monitor all sites for word on your brother.

    • Barbara Collum

      Kiss my ass you psychopath. You better run fast and hard if I find out who you are.

      • LM

        I know who SHE is and it’s a shame that she has to try to hide her identity when she says the things that she seems to claim as fact. See, before her comments started getting deleted, there was a little way that you could track who was saying what. James and Ken are actually a female. I won’t post her name here due to legal reasons, but I will say this, darling, you can’t hide forever.

    • guest

      All we know is a man was killed and a person was driving recklessly. That’s the facts. The cicumstances will come to light in due time. The case will not be tried on a forum. However, a case for libel can find its roots on a forum. The Journal has all the ip addresses and you won’t be hard to find. Time to change your name “again”.

  • LM

    I find it despicable that someone has to blame someone who called John on the phone as the reason that John was killed. What you fail to understand, dear, is that the one on the phone with John was a lifelong friend. He wasn’t just some random person calling him. He didn’t call him as an officer of the law, he called him as a friend. John, being the kind of person he was, never hesitated to walk out the door and do what he did. Nobody could have known what was going to happen. Nobody could have known that Cody was going to be coming down that road at that moment or that he was going to be swerving off the road. John was in the right by being off the side of the road. The one of the phone was in the right by remaining on the phone with John until that fatal moment when the car hit him. You know since you seem to know this family so well, how about the fact that the one of the phone was not physically able to just up and run outside? That’s why the phone call was made. You talk about the number of people at their home? Well, did you ever stop to realize that the reason there is so many in and out is because they are wonderful people who are loved by many and people actually enjoy spending time with them. The ones you see going in and out are actually family members or neighbors who come by. You fail to mention the fact that it was one from that home that actually took charge of the situation and done what he could to handle things until the police arrived. You fail to mention a lot of things for someone that wants to throw accusations out or talk a lot of trash about someone. Maybe instead of trying to point a finger at someone, you should look at yourself and what has made you so unhappy in your life that you have to find fault with others. John was a great man, passionate in his work, and willing to do anything for everyone he met. And the family that you are talking about so negatively, are the same way. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for others and those that know them love and respect them greatly, so please know your facts before you open your ignorant mouth and talk about things that you don’t know. These are real people and real families that are being affected and they don’t need someone who is miserable in their own life making things harder on them.

    • Barbara Collum

      Thank you LM

  • Miranda_k

    James, Ken, and now you are “guest”, I am the daughter in the family you are talking about. You seem to know more about my family than I have the knowledge to know. It takes a really coward person to get on a newspaper discussion and shoot such hurtful words and rumors around when you have no idea who we are. You do not even live on the North Rd. My father was the neighbor that called Mr. John. He did not call him as an officer; but as a friend. He was simply watching out for Mr. John’s things as he did ours. The prowler was on Mr. John’s land, not ours. The newspaper articles have stated it wrong, but that’s not the point. I’m not the type of person to get involved in such immaturity from people as yourself, but that’s my family you are talking about. If you know us so well why not call and ask us and get the facts before you throw false statements around for the whole world to read. If the prowler would have been on my land, my father in a wheelchair or not has went out the door plenty of times to check it out. He was not scared to do anything and for any reason. It was a friendly neighbor thing to do. It was a freak accident that turned into a tragedy. In situations like this you need to learn that sometimes words are just not meant to be only prayers for everyone involved. My dad I’m sure has been himself up with the whys and what if’s of the situation. Mr. John was a great man and I have known and lived by him my whole entire 22 years of being on this earth. How dare you speak before you know.

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