UPDATED Monday, December 18, 2017 at 7:20pm
EDITOR'S NOTE: Monday morning, a homeless man was killed when he stepped out into traffic on Main Street in East Tupelo. Police aren't saying much about the accident or the man who was killed, but it turns out that WTVA's Mike Russell met and interviewed the man earlier this year. He filed this report from the location of that interview.
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - In February, I was working on a story about homelessness. With the help of Jackson-based MUTEH (Mississippi United to End Homelessness), we moved around various Tupelo homeless encampments. One of those encampments was under the Mud Creek Bridge on Main Street, about a hundred yards west of Veterans Bouldevard. That's where I met and interviewed "Mr. Jimmy," who lived under the bridge for eight years, and who died about 50 yards his "living room" about 6am Monday morning.
Back then, then I asked him, "You have been under there 7 years, is that right? And what has life been like for you down there?"
His answer? "Rough."
That's about all that Mr. Jimmy said that night. To be honest -- and with all due respect -- 61 yr old Jimmy Fair wasn't quite coherent enough to say much more. He's the homeless man who died Monday morning when a car headed westbound down the hill out of Presley Heights struck him. Another man, known only as Bobby, said he was the last to see Mr. Jimmy as he was riding by on his bicycle. Jimmy was headed to the Sprint Mart across the street. Seconds later, he was struck and killed. The driver stopped immediately - and is cooperating with the police in their investigation.
At the Sprint Mart, Norma Yielding said she'd been helping to care for Jimmy since she started working there five years ago. She was too distraught to speak on camera -- but said almost everyone loved Jimmy. She said most of the local business owners in the area had bought him Christmas presents, including a warm pair of Timberland boots. Meanwhile, where Jimmy lived under the bridge, just west of the Sprint Mart, a quick glance shows ramnants of his simple life.
We're told that Mr. Fair leaves behind a brother in Mantachie and a son in Corinth. We're also told that he was married at one time.
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) – A pedestrian is dead following a morning collision in Tupelo.
Deputy Police Chief Allan Gilbert confirms a man died. Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green identifies the victim as 61-year-old Jimmy Fair of Tupelo.
The incident happened just after 6 a.m. near Veterans Boulevard and Main Street in Tupelo.
Police say the pedestrian was attempting to cross East Main Street.
Gilbert says it looks to be an accident. The driver stayed on the scene and is cooperating with police. That person's name was not released.
No further information was released.