Pct. 3 commissioner in ICU after crash

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Apr. 17, 2007 - A 28-year-old man listing a Sulphur Bluff address was being held Tuesday morning in Hopkins County jail on five charges stemming from a crash which resulted in Precinct 3 Commissioner Don Patterson being hospitalized, according to sheriff's and troopers reports.

Hector Munoz Correa was being held in Hopkins County jail Tuesday morning on the third-degree felony charge of intoxication assault and  on the misdemeanor charges failure to stop and render aid, no driver's license, driving on the wrong side of the road and not passing, and no liability insurance, according to jail reports.

Patterson remained in the hospital, where he was being treated for a broken leg, fractured ribs, punctured lung and a head laceration, according to sheriff's reports.

Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap said Patterson was in the intensive care unit at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital this morning.

"I talked to him around lunch. He's in a lot of pain," Millsap said. "It sounded like a real tragic accident out there. We're just pleased that it wasn't any worse than it was."

Two other people were reported to have sustained injuries, but were mobile. Correa also asked for medical attention and was taken to the hospital prior to being booked into the county jail.

Deputies, troopers, emergency medical services personnel, and Sulphur Bluff and Dike firefighters were dispatched at about 9:50 p.m. to the two-vehicle crash on FM 69 north.

The collision involved a red Dodge Neon and the flatbed truck Patterson was traveling in. The driver of the Dodge Neon fled the scene on foot.

A witness told troopers that the Neon, driven by Correa, crossed the center line and struck the flatbed truck, injuring Patterson. A search located Correa in a ditch several hundred yards from the crash scene, according to trooper David Reynolds' report.

Correa had a fixed stare, and alcohol was detected on his breath. He refused to submit to breath tests, Reynolds noted on Correa's arrest report.

Correa was taken to the hospital, then released early Tuesday morning to officers who booked him into the county jail.

Emergency personnel remained at the crash scene until about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday clearing up the wreckage and the road, according to reports.

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