A report of a fire and then a fatal traffic accident turned into much more before the story ended.
Michael Lewis Snider, 57, was dead at the scene of a head-on collision July 2 involving a work truck and fire engine. The collision took place on Highway 49 near the intersection of Oak Valley Drive.
An investigation of the fire that was at a shop on Morris Stevens Road showed the fire to be suspicious and the location of a victim inside the house near the shop has led investigators to believe the head-on collision was not an accident.
Maj. Earl Humphries with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department said the fire was reported at 9:25 a.m., and the accident with the truck was reported at 9:26 a.m.
The fire engine en route to the shop fire was driven by Firefighter Steven Jones, who at the time of this report, was in stable condition but still at Navicent Medical Center receiving treatment.
Humphries said the first thing officers did when arriving at the scene of the shop fire was to knock on the door of the house, but no one came to the door. He said officers and firefighters had knocked on the door of the house several times, but, after the wreckage from the accident was cleared from the road at about noon, officers went back to the house again.
That was when the victim was able to make it to the door. Until the victim was found, Humphries said the collision was believed to have been an accident.
“We thought Mr. Snider was on his way to work and was making a U-turn to return home because of the fire,” he said. “Now we believe the collision was intentional.”
The investigator said the victim had cuts to her throat and puncture wounds to her chest, and it is his belief that Snider thought he had killed her. He said EMS was called back to the house, and the victim was transported for treatment.
Humphries said the victim was alert and able to talk to investigators before being transported.
He said there was a history of domestic violence at the home between Snider and the victim.
According to court records, Snider entered a guilty plea Feb. 25 to aggravated assault, family violence, and hindering an emergency phone call for which he was serving five years probation.
Sheriff Butch Reece said officers had responded to domestic violence calls to the residence 15 times in the past year.
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