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Mississippi Governor Hurt in Car Crash

November 06, 1996| Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — Gov. Kirk Fordice was seriously injured Tuesday when his car flipped on an interstate and caught fire. Passersby pulled him from the burning wreckage.

"The fire was right there around him," said William Lowe, a truck driver who helped pull the governor from the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

He said Fordice, 62, was unconscious. Rescuers had to break into the vehicle, puncture the inflated air bag and cut through the seat belt. Fordice was alone in the car.

Doctors said his injuries did not appear life-threatening, but he suffered fractured ribs, a collapsed left lung, cuts on his left shoulder and a nearly severed left ear.

Fordice regained consciousness by the time he arrived at Grenada Lake Medical Center, about 15 miles south of the accident site in northern Mississippi. He was later taken to a Jackson hospital.

Fordice, a Republican, was elected to a second term last year. He was en route to Jackson for a GOP election-night gathering.

Lowe said truckers offered fire extinguishers to put out the flames while Fordice was being freed.

Reports said the wreck occurred about dusk on a clear night on a straight section of the interstate.

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