Cason Bryant Park, 25, of Gordo, Ala., was traveling west on U.S. 82 in Oktibbeha County early Sunday morning around 4 a.m. near the Center Grove Community when his car broke down. He was struck from behind by a vehicle about a quarter of a mile from where his car broke down. The vehicle fled the scene. (Facebook)
JACKSON, MISS. — The Mississippi Highway Patrol is looking for a vehicle that struck and killed a Marine from Alabama on Sunday morning.
Cason Bryant Park, 25, of Gordo, Ala., was traveling west on U.S. 82 in Oktibbeha County early Sunday morning around 4 a.m. near the Center Grove Community when his car broke down. Leaving the vehicle with the hazard lights flashing, he began walking down the highway.
He was struck from behind by a vehicle about a quarter of a mile from where his car broke down. The vehicle fled the scene.
Investigators are analyzing pieces of the vehicle found at the scene to determine what kind of vehicle hit Park.
"The information we've got is pretty vague so far," said MHP Sgt. Criss Turnipseed. "We've got some evidence that's being looked at. We're waiting for what results we can get and the information from the autopsy."
Authorities say they're looking for a silver vehicle, most likely with damage to the front left and left sides. The windshield also could be broken.
Turnipseed said it's possible the auto paint left at the scene could help identify the vehicle as well.
"A lot of paints are particular to certain auto makers," Turnipseed said. "A silver from GMC might be different from Ford or Dodge."
Investigators are hoping if the person who was driving the vehicle won't come forward, maybe a neighbor, family member or friend might have seen something. Body shops also can be instrumental in helping solve a case like Park's.
"It would be a huge break if someone came forward and said they saw something that fits," Turnipseed said.
According to Gordo Mayor Craig Patterson, Park was one of four children. He had a brother and two sisters. He said the town of Gordo is grieving along with the family.
"Everyone here knew him. He was a good kid. The family is well-liked here," Patterson said.
Family friend Kayla Helms Sims said she had a hard time finding words for the kind of person Park was.
"His heart was so big. I only wish mine was like his," she said. "He could make you smile when all you wanted to do was cry. He is a beautiful person inside and out. Heaven gained a warrior that was too good for this earth."
Friends of the family say Park was serving in the Marine Reserves, and as an active-duty Marine, he deployed at one time during the war.
"It's a shame that someone would be willing to give their life for their country, and then die in a way like this," Turnipseed said.