Three arrested in Starkville accident Friday morning

By David Miller/Columbus Commercial Dispatch (MCT)

STARKVILLE – A Yazoo City man involved in a multi-car accident that sent two passengers to the hospital Friday morning was arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run.

Michael Ellis Rhodes, 24, of 481 Rhodes Lane in Yazoo City, was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe on Hogan Street at approximately 12:30 a.m. when he struck three parked vehicles: a Chevrolet Suburban; Honda Accord; and a Toyota Tacoma truck, according to an Starkville Police Department release. Rhodes’ Tahoe came to its final resting place upside down in the middle of the street near the intersection of Hogan Street and Maxwell Street.

Five other passengers were in the Tahoe, including a man who suffered a head injury and was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus. A woman in the vehicle was treated for a severe arm laceration at OCH Regional Medical Center. SPD would not release the names of injured passengers. Outlaw said both were in stable condition.

Rhodes was charged with felony hit-and-run resulting in personal injury, three counts of hit and run involving an unattended vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and no insurance.

His bond was set at $10,000 and he remains at Clay County Jail.

SPD Investigator Lt. Troy Outlaw said alcohol is believed to have played a role in the accident. Based on statements, he said the driver left Mugshots restaurant and alcohol was on his breath. A field sobriety test was not performed at the scene of the accident.

Rhodes didn’t flee the scene of the accident, but because he hit multiple vehicles and did not stop after he hit each one he was charged with hit-and-run, Outlaw said.

“They had to be driving pretty fast on that little stretch of road,” Outlaw. “They were filled up pretty good in that vehicle, and in the hatch part is where the young man got the head injury.”

Two other passengers, including one juvenile, were also arrested. William Hunter Pridgen, 22, of 208 CR 313 Drive in Greenwood, was charged with accessory after the fact and profanity and drunkenness in a public place. As of Friday afternoon, Pridgen remained in Clay County Jail on $5,000 bond. The juvenile was charged with disorderly conduct.

A court date has not been set for Rhodes or Pridgen.