Young Hammond athlete dies at wreck scene

Victoria Matthews, age 14

A tragic chain of events near Osyka, Mississippi, the night of Saturday, Aug. 29, resulted in the death of a promising young athlete from Hammond.

Victoria Matthews, 14, died following two hit-and-run accidents on Pumping Station Road.

The Enterprise-Journal reported that in addition to Matthews, Demetrius Gardner, 31, of Progress, Mississippi, was killed and two other children, ages 16 and 7, are in critical condition at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

The Enterprise-Journal reported that Pike County Sheriff James Brumfield said the tragic event started when a 16-year-old boy was crossing Pumping Station Road on a four-wheeler and was struck by Alvin McElveen, 52, of Progress, who fled the scene in a Dodge pickup truck.

Deputies found McElveen hours later at his home on Pumping Station Road and charged him with felony fleeing the scene of an accident, according to the Enterpise-Journal.

The boy’s relatives, including Matthews, drove to the scene to check on him and parked their vehicle on the shoulder. While the family was on the scene, they were struck by a second driver, Paul Douglas Tate, 55, of Progress, instantly killing Matthews and Gardner.

Tate fled the scene in a GMC Yukon pickup truck, the Enterprise-Journal reported.

Sheriff Brumfied told the Enterprise-Journal that Tate was arrested but was later released to go to the hospital for his injuries. Charges on Tate are pending. Also, results of a toxicology report are pending for both McElveen and Tate, sheriff’s officials told the Enterprise-Journal.

Matthews was a member of the Hammond Eastside Magnet Elementary Track team and was anticipated to start for the Hammond High Lady Tors.

Her funeral was held Sunday afternoon at First Baptist Church in Hammond.

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