Sumner Mayor James Bryant, bank president and Ford dealer, has avoided the courtroom hearings, attended by members of both the Hand and the Browning families. "Wouldn't know where to sit," he said. His sons played Little League baseball with [Ralph Hand III]. He sold Ralph his pickup. He often waits his turn at the barber with [Olivia Browning]'s father.
[Streater Odom] was riding shotgun in the accident that altered his life. It was Halloween 1976. Ralph had gone off to Ole Miss and pledged Phi Delta Theta. After celebrating too hard for an Ole Miss-LSU football game, he roared the wrong way up a highway ramp in Baton Rouge, smashing into another car. That driver suffered a broken leg. Streater's face was cut badly but her looks were mostly restored after extensive plastic surgery. Ralph lost the use of his legs.
Asked to come on down to the office, Ralph roared off. [Henry Gipson] stomped it, but he couldn't keep up. Ralph hit 120 mph, then suddenly pulled a 180, headed the other way. Gipson spun sideways, stopped. Ralph bore down, rammed him, caromed off and kept going. Gipson gave chase again, lost two back tires, spun out. Cars from two other counties joined in. They were no match either. Only highway patrolman Danny Beavers, in a high performance Ford, could keep up.
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