The Mississippi Highway Patrol on Monday was investigating a car wreck outside Jacksonville that killed an outspoken advocate of the Confederate flag.
Anthony Hervey, 49, author of “Why I Wave the Confederate Flag, Written by a Black Man,” died Sunday, the state police said, after the Ford Explorer carrying him and Arlene Barnum, 60, of Stuart, Okla., went off the road and flipped over while returning from a pro-Confederate flag event in Birmingham, Alabama
Hervey, who was from Mississippi drew attention over the years for his efforts to preserve the Confederate flag and was often seen wearing a Confederate uniform and waving a Confederate battle flag on the Oxford Square.
Barnum said the accident occurred on a state highway near Oxford after Mr. Hervey swerved to avoid another vehicle that had pulled alongside them. The other car, she said, first pulled up on the driver’s side. Mr. Hervey yelled something to the passengers in the other car, she said and then “sped up to get away.”
The car then drove around to the passenger side of the Ford Explorer, Mrs. Barnum said, and the S.U.V. veered into a ditch on the opposite side of the road. When Mr. Hervey steered the Explorer back up on the road, the S.U.V. began spinning and rolled over multiple times before landing on the highway’s right side.
“It rolled over hard,” she said. “With each roll, it felt like ‘I’m not dead yet. Which one of these rolls is going to kill me?’ ”
She said she tried to talk to Mr. Hervey after the vehicle came to a rest, while both were still strapped in their seatbelts. He never responded. After being transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, she learned Mr. Hervey had died. Mrs. Barnum suffered cuts and a fractured left foot.
Master Sgt. Ray Hall of the Highway Patrol in New Albany said that the accident was being investigated and that no other information would be available until reconstruction specialists had a chance to review the evidence. Rocky Kennedy, the coroner of Lafayette County, home of Oxford, deferred further comment until after the Highway Patrol investigation was completed.
The Saturday rally in Birmingham was in opposition to removing the Confederate memorial in the city’s Linn Park. The Birmingham Park and Recreation Board recently voted to remove the memorial, and a rally organizer, Charles Andrew Bodenheimer of Tallassee, Ala., said several members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans took part.
Both Mr. Hervey and Mrs. Barnum had relatives who were Confederate soldiers. Mrs. Barnum said that she became involved in efforts to preserve the Confederate flag because a Louisiana ancestor fought for the Confederacy. “I don’t like it when black people attack me on this,” she said. “I think it’s an attack on my Southern heritage.”