UPDATE: Troopers' funeral today in Tupelo

Here is the obituary from the NEMS Daily Journal for Master Sgt. Hood.

Steve Hood
GUNTOWN – Steve Hood, 50, died Friday, May 29, 2009, in the line of duty as a Mississippi State Trooper. A native of Cleveland, he was born Dec. 11, 1958, to Claude and Doris Hood. He graduated from East Union High School in 1977 and then graduated from Northeast Mississippi Community College. He attended the Mississippi Highway Patrol Academy, graduating in 1982. He served as a state trooper from 1982 to 1985 in the Starkville district before transferring to the New Albany District, Troop F. He served as a master sergeant from 2001 to the present.
He was a member of Harrisburg Baptist Church. He was a wonderful Christian dad and husband. He enjoyed singing gospel songs. He was a man who loved the Lord and was a true testimony in the lives of many. He was an avid hunter with his son, Matthew, his uncle, Larry McCord, and his cousins. A practical joker, he had a laugh that will be missed by all. He died doing what he loved most, serving in the line of duty.
Services will be at 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo with State Trooper Ray Hall, Rev. David Langerfeld and Dr. Forrest Sheffield officiating. Burial will be in Tupelo Memorial Park with honors presented by the State Highway Patrol Honor Guard. W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Lisa Little Hood of Guntown; twin daughters, Stacie and Stephanie Hood of Guntown; one son, Matthew Hood of Guntown; his mother, Doris Hood of the Branyan community; two sisters, Robin Ellis of Branyan and Janene Thweatt (Randy) of Vancleave; three brothers, Tommy Hood (Terri) of Guntown, and Mark Hood (Cheryl) and Ricky Hood (Robyn) of Branyan. He was preceded in death by his father, Claude Hood.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today in the Harrisburg Baptist Church sanctuary and will continue from 2:30 p.m. until service time Monday.
Memorials may be made to Harrisburg Baptist Church or the Mississippi State Trooper Association Scholarship Fund.

Baldwyn man charged with trooper’s death

By Galen Holley
Daily Journal

NEW ALBANY – A Baldwyn man has been arrested in connection with a Friday evening accident that killed a Mississippi Highway Patrolman.
Master Sgt. Steve Hood, 50, a 26 year veteran of the Highway Patrol was pronounced dead on the scene Friday after his car left the road during a high-speed chase.
Col. Mike Berthay of the Highway Patrol said Saturday that officers from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, in coordination with officers from the Prentiss, Union and Lee County Sheriff’s Departments, apprehended William Francis, 25, of Baldwyn, shortly after midnight on Saturday and charged him with felony fleeing and manslaughter.
Berthay said Francis was driving a car that had been modified for high performance.
“This was not an ordinary, street vehicle,” said Berthay.
According to Berthay, Hood spotted the vehicle traveling at speeds well over 100 miles per hour and gave chase. Francis and three passengers fled from Hood and as they neared the intersection of Brice’s Crossroads, west of Baldwyn, Hood’s car left the road and crashed. The four suspects, three of whom are still under investigation, drove on, then hid the vehicle and dispersed.
Berthay said eye witnesses and concerned citizens were instrumental in leading authorities to the suspects and the car. Francis is being held in the Lee County Jail.
Berthay would not comment as to whether there was evidence of drug or alcohol use in the suspect’s car. Hood was the first Mississippi Highway Patrolman killed in the line of duty since Trooper Paul Denham in 1999.
Master Sgt. Mark Pitmer, who worked with Hood for 26 years, remembered his friend as an avid deer hunter and a “fine Christian.”
“I have no doubt as to where he is today,” said Pitmer.
Berthay added that Hood, who last year survived a devastating tractor accident, was officially eligible for retirement and died protecting Mississippi citizens.
“He was at home,” said Berthay. “He was protecting the people and the community he loved.”

From Saturday’s NEMS Daily Journal

Trooper dies in single car accident during pursuit

By Danza Johnson
Daily Journal

BALDWYN – A Friday-night car accident claimed the life of Mississippi Highway Patrolman Steve Hood.
Hood, a 26-year-veteran of the patrol, was killed while pursuing another vehicle on Highway 370 at Brice’s Crossroads west of Baldwyn at about 6 p.m., according to Highway Patrol Sgt. H.L. Kitchens. He said Hood’s car flipped several times, and no other vehicles were involved.
It is unknown what caused the accident, and Hood’s body has been sent to Jackson for an autopsy.
The 50-year-old Hood was involved in a life-threatening tractor accident in March 2008. A large tree limb fell on him while he was riding his tractor on his Union County property. Because of severe head trauma, Hood was off of work for more than eight months before he fully recovered and returned to work in November 2008.
The accident is under investigation by the Mississippi Highway Patrol.


This release was sent out last night after the death of Master Sergeant Steve Hood in an accident.

Master Sergeant Steve Hood, a 26-year veteran of the Mississippi Highway Patrol and supervisor in Troop F of the New Albany district, was killed in a one-vehicle accident while in the pursuit of a violator. The accident occurred on Mississippi Highway 370 at the Prentiss-Lee county line near the intersection of the Brices Cross Roads Military Park.

M/Sgt. Hood’s vehicle left the roadway westbound on Highway 370 and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Lee County coroner from injuries sustained during the wreck. M/Sgt. Hood is survived by his wife, Lisa, two daughters and a son. Lee County and Prentiss County sheriff’s departments, Mississippi Highway Patrol reconstructionists and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are all investigating the cause of the accident.

Witnesses have identified a vehicle that was being pursued by M/Sgt. Hood. The investigation continues into the identity for the arrest and apprehension of these subjects. Anyone who has any information regarding the individuals involved in this pursuit should notify the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Lee County Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers.

“He was an exemplary trooper and family man. Steve was appointed to the highway patrol in 1982 and was assigned most of his career to Troop F and was originally from the Jericho community. Words cannot measure or state the loss that the patrol and patrol families feel tonight,” said Colonel Michael Berthay.

NEMS Daily Journal

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