Around 7:40 am on Monday the Lawrence County Dispatch Center began receiving multiple calls reporting a head-on accident near the Williams Baptist University entrance on Hwy 63. Walnut Ridge Fire, Police and multiple ambulances were dispatched. As members of the Walnut Ridge Fire Department arrived on scene the immediately requested more ambulances from Randolph County and multiple medical helicopters to the scene.
According to Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Chris Jones, 5 injured were taken to multiple hospitals, 3 by helicopter and 2 by ambulance. Hwy 67 was closed for a short time as helicopters and ambulances were moved in and out of the scene.
Sheriff Jeff Yates stated that the Dispatch Center had received a message from Randolph County reporting a hazardous driver was entering Lawrence County just moments before the accident occurred.
Witnesses stated the driver heading south bound appeared to be slumped over the steering wheel just before the accident happened.
Medical helicopters began landing at 7:53 am and continued until 8:13 am when the third medical helicopter landed. Extent of injuries are unknown, patients were taken to Lawrence Memorial, Jonesboro hospitals and at least one taken to a Trauma Center in Memphis. We were also notified that the injured included several minors. Medical Helicopters included units from Survival Flight, Air Evac and Hospital Wing. Ambulances included Medic One, Pro-Med and AET Ambulance Service. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office assisted along with Williams Baptist Campus Police.
Arkansas State Police along with Walnut Ridge Police are conducting the investigation. Names and conditions of those involved have not been released.
Update According to the Arkansas State Police report 61 year old Robert Martin of Thayer, Mo. was killed in the crash. One child passenger in a second vehicle involved in the crash is also deceased.
For more information on the Walnut Ridge Fire Department visit www.walnutridgefd.com .
For more information on the Walnut Ridge Police Department visit www.cityofwalnutridge.com .
For more information on the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, visit www.lawrencecountysheriffsoffice.com .