A Local Car Club Surprises One Member Struck By Tragedy

Bobby Jones thought he was here for a crawfish boil.

"I had a couple of the guys say go get him over and show you guys how to do the crawfish to try and divert him," says Southern Mississippi Jeep Club President Jason Rutledge.  "We're just going to ease it out behind him.

Little did Jones know that on this day he'd be getting his Jeep back, well sort of.

"Really, probably about 10 percent of the Jeep is his," says family friend Chris Frizzell.

The other 90 percent of the Jeep he calls the Swamp Critter is new and improved.

"This is the Critter," shouts one member as he rolls out Jone's Jeep.

"No, it's not," shouts out  Jones in disbelief.

Fellow members of the Southern Mississippi Jeep Club told him they were taking the critter in for some minor work shortly after the February truck accident that left his father dead, and Bobby seriously injured.

"It just started spiraling from there," says Frizzell. "We got the jeep, and we started calling vendors. We started calling people. We started calling all of our friends and the companies we deal with in our club."

They even put in a new engine and an automatic transmission to make it easier for him to operate.

"I have my good days and my bad days," says Jones. "It's a healing process but this will help take the sting out of the pain a little bit.

Jones says he and his father had previously planned to work on the critter this summer, but now he won't have to. And even with his father gone, he now has a happy memory of this tragic year, thanks to all his friends.

"I'm gonna dedicate this to my dad," says Jones holding back tears.

Club members estimate the parts and labor put into the new and improved Critter could up its value to about 40 thousand dollars.