Tornado Outbreak Blamed in Death Of Alcorn State Student

THE DELTA (Ben Caxton) — At least nine tornadoes have been confirmed to have touched down across central Mississippi in Thursday’s storms. The storms caused widespread damage and loss of power, and are also being blamed as a contributing factor in the death of an Alcorn State student. The strongest of the tornadoes appears to have been an EF2 which touched down on the north side of Natchez with 115 mph winds. Natchez also saw an EF1 pass by on the south side of town. Both tornadoes lasted about two minutes and traveled about a mile in length. Two more tornadoes touched down in Rankin and Claiborne counties as well. The tornado in Claiborne County is blamed for the death of 19-year-old Alcorn State student Jayla A. Gray of Jackson. Gray was a passenger in a car driven by a friend who was returning Gray to campus after stopping at a Waffle House after an evening Halloween party. According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol the car she was riding in struck a large tree limb that had fallen across the highway, entering through the right passenger side, and causing severe injuries to Gray. The accident occurred on U.S. Highway 61 near MS 462 two miles north of Port Gibson around 3:00 AM. Ten minutes before the accident another vehicle had struck the tree. The driver of the first car was not injured and called 9-1-1 when he witnessed the fatal accident minutes later.



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