A Kiln man is facing charges of homicide by vehicle, along with eluding law enforcement officers and tampering with physical evidence charges, after a fatal collision last month in Dedeaux.
Investigators with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office say Donald Joshua Mauffray, 39, of Kiln, crashed head-on into 67-year-old Ronnie Grant Ladner of Kiln on May 7 at Fenton-Dedeaux Road.
Ladner was airlifted from the scene to an area hospital, but died about a week later from his injuries.
During an investigation into the crash, video footage and other evidence surfaced of Mauffray driving recklessly just moments before the accident, sheriff's officials said. Multiple witnesses say Mauffray was not only driving erratically but on the wrong side of the road, nearly hitting others on the roadway who crossed his path. A warrant was issued for Mauffray's arrest; however local officials could not immediately locate him.
U.S. Marshals last week discovered Mauffray was at a home in Saucier. Police say Mauffray evaded law enforcement officers but was soon captured and held at the Harrison County Jail, where on Tuesday he was transferred and booked into the Hancock County Jail.
Hancock County Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan said Mauffray had a number of traffic violations in his past and was driving on a suspended driver's license at the time of the accident.
“This is an individual who consistently demonstrated little regards to the law in Hancock County,” Grannan said. “ He's demonstrated serious reckless conduct on the road, putting the public in danger. Considering his driver's record, he was eventually going to kill somebody.”
Grannan said after Mauffray had crossed the center lane of the road, he made no attempt to brake or steer out of the way before crashing into Ladner.
Mauffray was booked with Homicide while committing a misdemeanor, motor vehicle eluding law enforcement officers and failure to stop. A $30,000 bond has been set for the homicide charges. Mauffray is awaiting an initial court appearance for all other charges.