03/27/17  Another Deadly Friday Raises Traffic Death Toll To 103


Two more highway fatalities were investigated by State Police on Friday, bringing the death toll on Arkansas highways to 103 so far this year.

32 year old Joshua Wade Smith of West Helena died on Friday in Prairie County following a one car crash. According to state police reports,  Smith was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer, headed west on I40, when his vehicle veered into the guardrail and cable barrier in the median, causing the vehicle to rollover. Two passengers in the vehicle, 29 year old Courtney Young of Clarendon and 39 year old Gretchen Ferebee of Lexa were injured. All were transported to hospitals in Little Rock. Weather conditions were cloudy and the roadway dry at the time of the crash at 6:53am on Friday. Corporal Damon Dobson of the State Police investigated.

Friday morning in Washington County, one person was killed and two others injured in a wreck involving four vehicles. According to  State Police, a GMC pickup driven by  35 year old Derrick Hammond of Springdale was northbound on 71-B at a high rate of speed, and reared ended a GMC driven by 43 year old Santana Gonzalez of Springdale, rendering Gonzalez unconscious. Hammond's vehicle then left the road, striking power boxes on the ground, rolled over onto the drivers side. Gonzalez' vehicle continued northbound on 71-B, crossing the road and striking a Freightliner truck, knocking the rear tandems off the trailer. The tandems continued north, striking a 1999 Kia. A 14 year old passenger in Gonzalez' vehicle was injured. No other injuries were reported. Gonzalez and his passenger were taken to area hospitals. The weather was clear, the roadway dry at the time of the crash at 8:22 Friday morning. The Bethel Height Police department investigated the crash.