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Lucedale man sentenced to 40 years for ATV crash that killed 2, injured 1

Derrick Chavers

A Lucedale man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for an ATV crash that killed two people and injured one.

Derrick Chavers, 38, was sentenced on Wednesday after pleading guilty earlier in the month to two counts of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault. In 2020, Chavers was staying at a hunting camp in Leakesville when he showed up uninvited to a party.

Claiming that he saw someone he knew from work, Chavers drove his ATV into a crowd of teens and young adults, recklessly running into a group of the partygoers. In the process, he killed a 17-year-old, a 23-year-old, and severely injured a 25-year-old.

Christopher Smith, the lone survivor from the incident, told WKRG that his brother Wesley Smith was killed after Chavers seemingly came out of nowhere. The three victims had stepped outside of the party after a fight broke out inside.

“The next thing we know, we just get hit by a side-by-side,” Smith told the Mobile, Ala., TV station. “He hit my brother first on the left side of the road, he turned and hit me on the right side of the road. After he hit me, he ran over Levi Lewis.”

Chavers, whose judgment is said to have been impaired at the time, is believed to have been going double the 25 miles per hour speed limit when the incident occurred.

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