Miss. deputy dies in car crash

Officer Down: Deputy William Walters - [Kemper County, Mississippi]

Biographical Info

Age: 59

Additional Info: Deputy Walters had served with the Kemper County Sheriff's Department for 7 months.

Incident Details: Deputy William Walters was killed in an automobile accident when his patrol car was struck by another vehicle on Highway 16, near DeKalb. The accident occurred during a period of heavy rain.

Both occupants of the other vehicle were also killed.

Cause of Death: Automobile accident

Date of Incident: Sunday, July 15, 2007

Services today for deputy

By Andrew Nelson
Clarion Ledger

Services will be held today for a Kemper County deputy who was one of three people killed in a two-car crash near DeKalb last weekend.

William John Walters, 59, was on duty when the crash happened. The former Navy SEAL had been with the Kemper County Sheriff's Department since September.

"He was one of the best ones we had here as a patrol deputy," said Chief Deputy Greg Campbell. "(His loss) is really going to hurt us. We're really going to miss him."

The Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol is continuing to investigate the crash that killed Walters and two Birmingham-area women. It occurred about three miles east of DeKalb on Mississippi 16 on Sunday afternoon, said MHP Staff Sgt. Ronnie Carter.

Walters was driving east in a patrol car, a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, Carter said. Barbara Haynes Emanuel, 61, of Helena, Ala., was driving west in a 2007 Honda Accord. Violet Barnes Pierce, 66, of Midfield, Ala., and Barbara V. Jaynes , 65, of Pleasant Grove, Ala., were passengers in the Accord.

Investigators are not sure how the crash happened, Carter said, but the Honda struck the passenger side of the patrol car. It had been raining that day, but Carter did not know whether the pavement was wet at the time.

Walters, Pierce and Emanuel were pronounced dead at the scene, Kemper County Coroner Kathy Lanier said.

Jaynes remained in critical condition Wednesday at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, hospital spokesman Brad Fisher said.

Walters and Pierce were not wearing seat belts, Carter said. Jaynes and Emanuel were.

Walters was one of six full-time deputies in the Kemper County Sheriff's Department. Before becoming a deputy, he worked for the DeKalb Police Department.

Walters had the gift of gab, Campbell said. Instead of wrestling a suspect to the ground, he could talk someone into giving up without a struggle.

"He had a real way with people," Campbell said. "From the time he'd been here he'd never been in a scuffle or anything."

Services will be from 5-7 p.m. at Eastern Gate Funeral Home in Pensacola.

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