Ocean Springs mayor hits 86-year-old

The Associated Press

OCEAN SPRINGS – Mayor Connie Moran struck and injured a pedestrian Friday afternoon while driving an city-owned vehicle, Ocean Springs city officials said.

The pedestrian, 86-year-old Leighton R. Elliott, was crossing Porter Avenue to pay his water bill when he was hit. He was hospitalized with bruises and scrapes, authorities said, but was in good spirits when later contacted by Moran.

Moran parked her car near City Hall when she realized she had forgotten something, said Julia Weaver, an alderwoman who handled media questions about the accident. She hit Elliott as she backed up.

“He was so gracious,” Moran said after talking to Elliott. “I feel terrible. I’m shaken up about it.”

Moran said a couple of people came to Elliott’s aid after the accident. She went inside and called for police and fire help.

Elliott was taken to an area hospital. His family declined to give details about his condition.

But Police Chief Kerry Belk said Elliott appeared to be in good condition, though they were worried about the elderly accident victim.

“Anytime a person gets the wrong end of the stick in an argument with a car it is very bad,” Belk said. “He is older. We are concerned that cuts and bruises might really be hard on him.”

Moran said she was tested for drugs and alcohol after the accident, as law requires.

The accident investigation is being conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Weaver said it will be released when completed next week.

“We will take any action based on the outcome of the investigation. My assumption is that the investigation will show it is a traffic accident due to Mr. Elliott being in a blind spot and there won’t be anything exciting found,” Weaver said.