Dump truck strikes house

Whitney Downard / The Meridian Star

A dump truck struck a house on Highway 494 west of Collinsville Wednesday morning. The driver of the truck died and the house caught fire.

A dump truck driver was killed Wednesday morning when his truck struck a house in 11100 block of Highway 494, west of Collinsville in Lauderdale County.

The truck, a 2007 Mack CV713, was traveling eastbound on Highway 494 when it ran off of the road and hit a home in Suqualena, catching on fire with the driver inside, according to the Fatal Accident Report from the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

The report stated that Otho G. Matlock, a 72-year-old man, died at the scene. Matlock had an address in Hickory.

Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler said that emergency responders found Matlock in the truck around 11:30 a.m.

Cobler said Matlock may have died before the truck caught on fire, possibly of a heart attack or other medical issue. There was a lack of skid marks leading to the house. The presence, or absence, of soot in his lungs would narrow down the cause of death, Cobler said. 

"Hopefully we'll find out more after the autopsy tomorrow," Cobler said.

Firefighters from Suquanlena, Martin, Bailey and Collinsville were still extinguishing a fire on the porch of the home at 1 p.m. 

Allan Dover, the Lauderdale County fire coordinator, said the fire damaged approximately 40 percent of the home, mainly the attic, living room and bathroom.

"We were able to hold it to the front side of the home where it originally caught fire," Dover said. 

Dover reported no injuries due to the fire. 

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