Tragedy strikes Anderson Peanut family

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Employees at Anderson Peanut Company in Goshen are mourning the tragic loss of a member of their "family" and three members of his family.

An Anderson employee, his two children and a brother were killed in a four-car wreck on Interstate 85 one mile north of the Auburn 29 South exit around 12:45 a.m. Sunday.

According to the Auburn Police Department, Donald Parks, 39, his 14-year-old son, David (Davy), his 13-year-old daughter, Deseray (Daisy), and his brother, Mickey Parks, 45, were pronounced dead at the scene after their vehicle collided head on with a pickup truck that was traveling northbound in the southbound lane of Interstate 85.

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The 1987 Dodge Ram pickup was driven by an Opelika man, William Andrew Potts, 33, who was also killed in the collision.

Mickey Hughes, manager of the Goshen peanut plant, said he was notified of the tragedy by Donald Parks' brother, John Parks, who is also a plant employee.

"This has hit us all real hard," Hughes said. "It was such a tragic thing. Donald had been with us for about 12 years and Mickey worked with us for about five years before going to work as a driver for Southern Ag about a year ago. Their brother, John, works with us, so this is very hard. Everyone is mourning the loss. Donald was a good employee. He was part of our family here and he will be greatly missed."

Hughes said the Anderson Peanut family is also deeply saddened at the loss of Donald Parks' son and daughter and his brother.

Hughes said the Parks family was returning to Elba from North Carolina when the wreck occurred.

"Donald went to North Carolina to pick up his daughter, who had been visiting her mother," he said. "They were on the way home when the accident happened. The children had lived with their mother (Davana Parks-Moore) until recently. I understand that services for the children will be in North Carolina."

Hughes said the Anderson Peanut family extends its deepest sympathies to the Parks family during this time.

The accident that took the lives of the four family members is still under investigation by the Auburn Police Department. However, Auburn police said the preliminary investigation found that Potts was driving the wrong away on the interstate when the collision with the Parks vehicle occurred.

According to Auburn police reports, after colliding with the pickup, Parks' 1994 Nissan Sentra collided with

a 1992 Chevrolet Suburban occupied by the driver and two passengers. Another vehicle, a 2003 Mazda 626, then hit Parks' vehicle. The Mazda was occupied by the driver and five passengers.

The six occupants of the Mazda had minor to moderate injuries and the passengers in the Suburban suffered minor injuries. They were transported to East Alabama Medical Center.

Funeral services for the Parks brothers will be at 2 p.m. today at Hayes Funeral Home in Elba. Burial will follow at Shiloh Baptist Church.

Davy and Daisy Parks were natives of Coffee County. Davy was an honor student and involved in sports at East Gaston High School in North Gastonia, N.C. Daisy was an honor student at Belmont Middle School and a member of the choir and the band. Services for brother and sister will be held at the Spiritual Guidance Holiness Church at Mt. Holly, N.C.