County employee killed in Lauderdale wreck

By BRENT MAZE,

A Newton County District 2 driver who was on his way to pick up a load of gravel from Meridian was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Hwy. 494 near in Suqualena yesterday.

District 2 Supervisor Joe Alexander said county employee Gerald Matlock was driving a county dump truck on Hwy. 494 when the truck crashed into a house on Hwy. 494. The house and truck then caught fire. No one was in the home at the time of the crash, but Matlock was pronounced dead on the scene.

The crash is being investigated by Mississippi Highway Patrol. The victim's body has been sent to Jackson for an autopsy.

“We don’t exactly know what happened,” Alexander said. “But we lost more than a good county employee. We lost a man who was very loved in our community.”

Alexander said the dump truck was a total loss, but that didn’t matter compared to the loss of a life.

“We can replace a dump truck, but you can’t replace a life, especially someone like Gerald,” Alexander said. “He was a great man and role model to many in our community. He will be missed.”

Alexander said Milling Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements. Services had not been scheduled as of Thursday morning.

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