At 12:02 pm the Lawrence County Dispatch Center paged the Walnut Ridge Fire Department and AET Ambulance of Walnut Ridge to the scene of a one vehicle accident at the Walnut Ridge Police Department.
Rescue workers arrived to find a late model Toyota truck completely emerged inside the building. The driver of the truck was found dead, his name has not been released by the Arkansas State Police at this time. The City of Walnut Ridge Animal Control Officer, Robert Rice was inside the building as it was struck and is said to be in serious condition. Robert was taken by AET to Lawrence Memorial Hospital where he was air-lifted via Air Evac to an area hospital, his condition is not known at this time.
Witnesses stated that the truck traveled down West Main Street at a high rate of speed before striking the railroad tracks at Front Street, becoming airborne and slamming into the front office area of the Walnut Ridge Police Department.
The Walnut Ridge Police Department was assisted by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Hoxie Police, Black Rock Police and Arkansas State Police. Trains in the area were stopped so that the track could be inspected for damage by the railroad.
The accident is still under investigation at this time. City of Walnut Ridge Officials along with Chief Richey Thatcher were inspecting the stability of the building. Several areas of the building show cracks from the impact, it is not known at this time if the police department will be able to salvage the building.
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