STARKVILLE – A Lucedale man has been charged with aggravated DUI in connection with the early morning death of a Mississippi State University student Tuesday.
Sawyer Tomas Steede, 18, of Lucedale, was charged with aggravated DUI and is currently out on a $50,000 bond.
Starkville police responded to a one-vehicle traffic accident in the parking lot of McDonalds on Highway 12 in Starkville around 2:05 a.m. Tuesday. They reported finding Kaleb Dwayne Barker, 18, also of Lucedale, seriously injured. Barker was transported to Oktibbeha County Hospital by ambulance and then airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson where he died from his injuries.
A release from the Starkville Police Department says Barker was riding in the bed of the 2003 Chevrolet Silverado truck driven by Steede.
Another passenger, Halli Camille Reasons, 18, of Dyersburg, Tenn., was also traveling in the bed of the pickup truck and was injured. She was treated and released from Oktibbeha County Hospital.
The accident is still under investigation by the Crash Reconstruction Team of the Starkville Police Department.
Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum released a statement earlier Tuesday about Baker, a freshman kinesiology major.
“The Mississippi State University family is heartbroken today over this very tragic accident,” said Keenum. “Kaleb was a young man with a great deal of promise. We feel a deep sense of grief, and our thoughts and prayers will remain with Kaleb’s family and his many friends in Lucedale and here at MSU.”