STARKVILLE (AP) — A Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks officer faces charges in an off duty car crash that killed two of his passengers, authorities said.

Ryan T. Crick is charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries or death and could face additional charges in the Friday morning crash, authorities said.

A third passenger was hospitalized in critical condition after the accident on Oktoc Road in Oktibbeha County.

Oktibbeha County sheriff’s deputies were notified of the crash in a telephone call. When they arrived at the scene, they found 23-year-old Matthew Lann Gaskin and Jessica Burks, who was 27, both dead near a heavily damaged 2001 Jeep Wrangler.

Sheriff Dolph Bryan said another passenger, 26-year-old Heather Kay McMillian, was airlifted to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo with ‘‘massive internal injuries.’’

Bryan said the 25-year-old Crick was the driver of the Jeep. The Starkville Daily News reported on its Web site that Crick is a game warden who works in Madison County.

The Associated Press could not immediately locate a telephone listing for Crick and it was not clear if had hired an attorney.

Mark Beason, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, confirmed that Crick works for the agency but said he had few details to offer about the accident.

‘‘We’re aware of the incident and that’s all we want to say about it at this time,’’ Beason said.

Bryan said Crick called 911 to report the crash then had a friend pick him up nearby. Crick turned himself into deputies shortly before noon Friday and was arrested.

Crick was released on a $25,000 bond later that day after deputies took him to a hospital and had blood drawn for testing at the Mississippi Crime Laboratory in Jackson. Blood tests are standard procedure and will help deputies determine whether alcohol or drugs were a factor, Bryan said.

‘‘This investigation is just beginning, and more charges and arrests are expected,’’ Bryan said. ‘‘Depending on what the test results reveal and what the investigation uncovers, the driver could face negligent homicide charges.’’

Deputies are continuing to investigate what happened. Initial evidence shows that the vehicle veered off the road and hit a driveway embankment, apparently flipping at least once before coming to rest on its side, deputies said.


Information from: Starkville Daily News,

AP-CS-01-26-08 1755EST

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