Weekend crashes result in 5 deaths on Arkansas roads

Posted: February 27, 2018 at 2:26 a.m.

At least five people, including a police officer returning home from work, were killed in separate accidents over the weekend.

A man was killed after his vehicle traveled off a flooded Arkansas highway and eventually came to a rest upside down in a waterlogged ditch, the Arkansas State Police said.

Authorities said the single-vehicle crash happened about 5:45 p.m. Sunday on Arkansas 226 east of Village Creek in Jackson County.

A 2005 Ford pickup driven by 57-year-old Jeffrey C. Richardson of Pocahontas was traveling west as water crossed the highway, according to a preliminary report.

Richardson lost control of the vehicle which crossed the centerline into eastbound traffic and rotated clockwise as it moved back into the westbound lane, authorities noted.

State police said the pickup then traveled into a ditch north of Arkansas 226, rolled on its passenger side and crashed into a utility pole before coming to a rest upside down in a saturated ditch.

Richardson died in the single-vehicle crash, according to the report. No one else was reported hurt.

Two men were killed in a two-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon in Faulkner County, police said.

The accident happened about 4 p.m. Sunday in the 300 block of Arkansas 365 in Mayflower, according to an Arkansas State Police report.

Authorities said a southbound 2003 Honda Civic struck a northbound 1998 Mercedes C230 as the Civic was turning left.

The Mercedes, driven by 30-year-old Kurt Peterson of Conway, spun into a ditch on the highway's east side and rolled over once, police said.

According to the report, the Honda -- driven by 54-year-old Reginald Riley of Conway -- slid and came to a rest in the southbound lane.

Riley and Peterson suffered fatal injuries in the crash. No other people were reported hurt.

The report described travel conditions as cloudy and dry.

A police officer was killed after losing control of his pickup late Saturday on a wet highway in east Arkansas, authorities said.

The crash happened around 11:45 p.m. on Arkansas 50 at Heth in St. Francis County, according to a preliminary report.

Police say Kenneth J. Culbreath, 53, of Wynne lost control of a 1999 Chevrolet pickup at a curve, causing the vehicle to travel off the highway.

The vehicle then flipped several times before coming to a rest in a field, according to authorities.

Culbreath was killed as a result of the crash, the report noted. No other injuries were reported.

In a post on social media, Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen identified Culbreath as an officer with the Earle Police Department. Allen noted that Culbreath had just finished his shift and was driving back to his home.

A 21-year-old man died Saturday afternoon after losing control of his pickup on a wet Arkansas road, police said.

It happened about 4 p.m. as Luis A. Gallardo of Mexico was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche north on Walker Road in Siloam Springs, according to an Arkansas State Police report.

He lost control of the vehicle while driving at a "high rate of speed" and hit a tree, authorities said, and he was ejected from the pickup. The vehicle then bounced off the tree and hit a second one, police said.

Metro on 02/27/2018