HOLLY SPRINGS – Residents of the Highway 7 neighborhood where one child was killed and five others injured Tuesday say the water leak that coated the road that morning with deadly ice had been noted since August.
The soil alongside the road at Holly Springs’ northern edge is mostly sand, said one neighbor who asked not to be named, so water normally drains into the soil or into a culvert under the roadway.
On Monday night, he said, “It froze and created an ice dam.”
Police believe it was the resulting sheet of ice on the road that caused a Honda Civic driven by 17-year-old LaTasha Isom to skid out of control about 7:40 a.m. Tuesday. The car slid sideways into an oncoming Holly Springs school bus, killing her 9-year-old brother Roddrick Isom.
LaTasha Isom, her brother R.L. Isom Jr. and three other children were taken to Memphis-area hospitals.
Holly Springs Mayor André DeBerry said the leak has been stopped, but he denied previous knowledge of the problem.
After the wreck, he said, “We determined there was some repair work that was needed on a valve, so we did it. A lot of people have said there were reports about it before this, but … we had no official reports.”
Asked if he anticipates any liability on the city’s part for the wreck, DeBerry said, “I don’t know about that. Right now we’re concerned about the families involved. Our hearts and prayers go out to them.”
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal