Teen’s death ruled accidental

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

Authorities say the death of a Montgomery County teen-ager who fell out of a moving vehicle onto a Webster County road was accidental. Dillan Bryce Whitman, 17, of Kilmichael died following the April 28 accident on Gilbert Hill Road, which is between Old Cumberland and Old Dancy roads. The 911 call reporting the accident came in at 5:58 p.m. that Saturday. Webster County Sheriff Tim Mitchell said Whitman was one of six juveniles who were riding around in a crew cab four-door pickup that afternoon. Three males and three females between the ages of 12 and 17 were inside, he said, and the driver was properly licensed. Whitman was in the back seat behind the driver and was leaning out of the open window of the rear left door when the accident happened on the gravel road, said Mitchell. “He leaned around to talk to the driver outside the window, and slipped and fell,” the sheriff said. “It was just an unfortunate accident.” Agencies dispatched after the 911 call were EMS from North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora; Cumberland, Clarkson and Mantee fire departments; the Webster County Sheriff’s Department and MedStat Air. Webster County Coroner Steve Wells said Whitman sustained critical injuries and died early the next morning, April 29, at NMMC in Tupelo. He, as did Mitchell, said the youth’s death was ruled accidental. Whitman had been flown to Tupelo by helicopter from the Mantee helipad. An ambulance that had been dispatched to the accident scene transported him to the helipad, according to Mantee Fire Chief David Brand. He noted that the youth was the tenth patient flown out from the helipad since it was built two years ago. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist the sheriff’s office, according to Mitchell. He said no autopsy was performed, and no charges were filed against anyone in connection with the accident. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of this young man,” Mitchell said. Survivors include Whitman’s parents, Jimmy and Christie Pearson of Kilmichael, and Danny and Amanda Whitman of Hickory; and a brother, Daulton Whitman of Louisville. Also surviving are his maternal grandparents, Barry Joe and Martha Miller of Weir, and Tommy Adams of Ackerman; and his paternal grandparents, Tyan Pace of Louisville, Dennis Whitman of Illinois and Nancy Jo Pearson of Kilmichael. Funeral services were May 3 at Kilmichael Baptist Church, where Whitman was a member, with burial in Poplar Creek Nations Cemetery. Coleman Funeral Home of Ackerman handled arrangements.