Highway Patrol investigating Tippah fatal accident

By Press Release

The Mississippi Highway Patrol continues to investigate a crash in Blue Mountain that claimed the life of a Tippah County man, Trooper Ray Hall said.

Troopers were dispatched to the two-vehicle crash near Blue Mountain on MS 15 at approximately 8:10pm. Upon arriving it appeared a 2008 Peterbilt, operated by William B Rakestraw, 44, of Blue Mountain, was traveling south on MS 15 when it collided into the rear of a 1986 Chevrolet pic-up driven by James H Stagener, 75, of Blue Mounain. The impact of the collision caused both vehicles to catch fire.

Stagener and his wife, Annie Stagener, 67, were both entrapped in the pic-up. Both had to be extricated from their vehicle.

James Stagener died from injuries sustained in the accident. Annie Stagener was air-lifted to the MED in Memphis with severe burns. She was listed in critical condition.

Rakestraw was transported by private vehicle to Baptist Hospital in New Albany with minor injuries.

This was the only fatality recorded by the Mississippi Highway Patrol on Labor Day.