JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A George County man is reflecting on his decision to stop and offer assistance at the scene of a deadly crash early Thursday morning. That deadly crash was a head-on collision on Highway 614 in Jackson County that left two people dead and three children injured.
The crash happened near the intersection of Otis Cooper Road. Debris can still be seen clearly, and the highway is stained with oil. Flowers have been placed in memory of the victims.
John Holyfield was passing by.
"It's just my first instinct to stop and see if I can help because there was no one else there but that one person. And because I was in an accident myself, and people stopped to help me. I just felt compelled that that's what I needed to do," Holyfield explained.
That accident Holyfield was in near Lucedale five years ago left him broken and battered.
"Both of my feet and my legs, I've had five surgeries on them. So, all my bones have been broken."
Thursday morning, the two SUVs hit head-on. Another man climbed in to rescue the children. Holyfield was right there with him.
"He finally got the car seatbelt loose, and we picked up on him, and his feet hung. So, he had to untangle his feet from the debris, got him out, and that's when I held on to him the whole time, never set him back down."
This is the second time John has faced death in a personal and painful way. He remembers the young woman who hit him head-on.
"She died instantly. That's what they told me," Holyfield recalls. "As soon as they walked up to the car, there was no pulse, and she died instantly."
Holyfield said he does not consider himself a hero.
"The hero I see, if there was anyone there, is the guy that crawled in the car because he was younger than me and was physically able to get in there and do something. He's the one that actually climbed in the car."
Just like the debris, Holyfield said the memories left behind will probably never go away.
"It sticks with you your whole life. You think about it every day because somebody lost their life," Holyfield said.
The two people who died in the Highway 614 wreck were identified as 31-year-old Ashley Killingsworth of Moss Point, the mother of the children. The driver of the other vehicle, 54-year-old Kevin Hyatt of Mobile, was also killed.