UPDATE: Mantachie teenager dies in Highway 78 accident after prom

By Staff and MHP press release report

Mississippi Highway Patrol State Troopers responded to a muti-car accident in Itawamba County near 10:30 p.m. Friday that claimed the life of a Mantachie teenager.

The accident occurred on US 78, in the west bound lanes, near the water-way bridge. Upon arriving it appeared Cheryl Arnold, 33, of Saltillo, was driving a 2011 Hyundai, traveling East in the West bound lanes when she collided head-on into a 1997 GMC pick-up driven by Jessie Nanney, 17, of Mantachie. After the first collision, Arnold’s vehicle then struck another vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Pick-up, driven by Lindsey O Cockrell, 17 of Mantachie.

Arnold had to be extricated from her vehicle and was transported to North Mississippi Medical Center with life-threating injuries. She remains in critical condition. She was wearing a seatbelt.

Nanney was transported by NMMC with serious injuries. There were two passengers in Nanney’s vehicle. April Stamper, 17, of Mantachie, had to be extricated from the vehicle. She was airlifted to NMMC where she later died from injuries received in the accident. Another teenager, a 16 year old, was transported to NMMC with serious injuries.

Cockrell was transported to NMMC where she was treated and released.

The four teenagers were from Mantachie High School and had been to their school’s junior/senior prom.

“These students were all being responsible,” MHP Trooper Ray Hall said. “They were all buckled up, speed was not a factor and there was no alcohol/drug use involved with any of the students. They were coming from Fulton, where we were told they had went to get ice-cream. It is very unfortunate for us to investigate a wreck involving these responsible teenagers.”

The Mississippi Highway Patrol is investigating the accident to see if alcohol was a contributing factor to why Arnold’s vehicle was traveling East in the West bound lane. The investigation is ongoing.