Thursday, March 13, 2014
Sheriff recovering at The Med
By SUE WATSON
Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson was injured in an automobile accident Saturday around 1 p.m. He was flown to The Med by air ambulance, as was the driver of the pickup that struck the sheriff’s car.
The accident occurred at the intersection of Stonewall Road and Highway 309 in the town limits of Byhalia. Dickerson was driving southbound on 309 when the Ford F150, going east on Stonewall Road, hit the front passenger side of the sheriff’s patrol car.
Joe Miller, with the Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop E in Batesville, identified the pickup driver as Cody Pruitt, 31, of Horn Lake. Pruitt remained in the intensive care unit at The Med in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, Miller said.
Dickerson underwent surgery Monday to stabilize a vertebra in his neck. He sustained head, neck, back and rib injuries, according to Maj. Kelly McMillen with the sheriff’s department.
“For the circumstances, the sheriff really seems to be doing pretty good,” he said. “We’re just lucky to have him.”
McMillen said deputies have received hundreds of calls and text messages since the accident, coming from local, state and federal people interested in the sheriff’s condition
“We appreciate all the concern,” he said. “It’s been phenomenal.”
McMillen said the first message he received was that the sheriff was in an accident and unresponsive.
“Emergency personnel got him to respond and reported he had multiple injuries from the impact – to his head, hands, his back and neck area and had some issues with his ribs,” McMillen said.
He said the accident was a shock to the department employees.
“As far as our department, it’s been a terrible impact on us,” McMillen said. “We just have to pick up and move on.”
McMillen said division supervisors know their responsibilities and duties and will continue to do what they do daily to carry on while the sheriff mends.
Bob Dickerson, the sheriff’s son, was by his father’s side after arriving Saturday evening at The Med, McMillen said.
“My family sincerely appreciates the overwhelming support that has been shown by the community,” Bob Dickerson said. “Dad is expected to make a full recovery and is looking forward to getting back on his feet. We have received numerous calls of concern and have felt the significant impact that the power of prayer has made. He was quick to tell the medical team that he is ready to get back to work, but knows that he has a long road to recovery.
“The medical staff of doctors and nurses at The Med have been outstanding. Their professionalism and dedication to the job have ensured that my dad has been as comfortable as possible and that he is receiving quality care. We would also like to thank director Tony Armstrong and his command staff and officers from the Memphis Police Department for their support during this time. They have been on standby and in constant contact with my family during our time in Memphis.
“The support from the vast number of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies has been tremendous. Again, we thrive on prayer and appreciate all the support that has been shown by the citizens of Marshall County and the Mid-South.”
Maj. David Cook, with the sheriff’s department, praised his boss for the good job in leading the department to be prepared for something like this.
“It is just an example of what a good leader does,” he said. “He prepares everybody to lead and that’s what happened in this situation.”
Cook thanked law enforcement from Mississippi and Tennessee and church leaders for the outpouring of offers of help and prayers.
“It is good to know sheriffs and police chiefs were offering assistance and prayers,” Cook said. “Churches were lifting us up in prayer in Sunday services. I can say thank you from our entire staff.”
Byhalia police officers and firemen and MedStat personnel were there quickly, doing everything they could to assist with the situation, Cook said. Lt. Grafton Lowery was the first Marshall County Sheriff’s Department officer on the scene.
Cook thanked and praised 911 dispatchers for notifying the proper agencies and getting everybody on the scene quickly.
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