Deckhand Falls Overboard, Dies In Sonny Montgomery Lock

Around 11:30 a.m. on September 26, the mv. St. Peter, a 2,000 hp. towboat that’s part of Marquette Transportation Company’s Gulf-Inland Fleet, was northbound on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, locking through Sonny Montgomery Lock with eight empty hopper barges, when a “man overboard” call went out over the radio.

As the vessel was exiting the lock, Jacob Pearson, a deckhand with Marquette aboard the St. Peter, reportedly fell off the port side of the tow, between one of the barges and the lock wall, and was crushed. The lock operator called 911 and offered assistance, and the Itawamba County Sheriff Department responded. The Itawamba County coroner identified Pearson later that day.

“We are devastated by the loss of a valuable member of the Marquette family as a result of an incident at the Sonny Montgomery Lock,” the company said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his family and friends. We are praying for everyone affected by this tragic event.”

Pearson, a native of Homer, La., and a resident of Jonesboro, La., was born May 20, 1991. He was 28 years old. Funeral services were scheduled for October 1 in Arcadia.

A member of Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, Pearson enjoyed hunting and fishing with friends. He is survived by his wife, Jessie Pearson; his mother, Dee Breazeale; his sister, Shelly Pearson; brother, Daniel Pearson, sister-in-law, Savanna, and nephew, Charles; his mother-in-law, Linda Pailet; along with many other extended family members.

An obituary described Pearson as someone who loved his mother, who enjoyed listening to all kinds of music, and who loved his dogs.

“But he especially loved his wife with all of his heart,” it said.