Today's Paper Search Latest Core values App Traffic map In the news #Gazette200 Listen Digital FAQ Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles/Games Archive
story.lead_photo.caption Little Rock firefighters and state police work the scene of an accident Wednesday afternoon involving two 18-wheelers that both caught fire on Interstate 440 eastbound just before the bridge over the Arkansas River in Little Rock. - Photo by Rick McFarland

At least one person has died and traffic remains stalled in both directions along Interstate 440 in Little Rock after a three-vehicle accident caused two 18-wheelers to catch fire Wednesday afternoon, according to state police.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said the accident occurred about 2 p.m. in the eastbound lanes near the Fourche Dam Pike exit. The eastbound lanes were blocked completely by the accident scene, and traffic was stalled in both directions for at least two hours.

At the center of the fiery scene were two 18-wheelers, one of which had significant fire damage, and an Impala, according to an Arkansas Online reporter on the scene.

The accident remains under investigation, but based on initial information, investigators believe it occurred when the Impala went into reverse on the highway and hit a Wal-Mart truck. The Wal-Mart truck jackknifed on impact and burst into flames as it collided with the second 18-wheeler, according to state police.

Police confirmed there was at least one fatality in the Wal-Mart vehicle. The woman who was driving the Impala was taken to UAMS Medical Center with unspecified injuries. Sadler said in a statement that a third person also was injured and transported from the scene. The conditions of the injured were not immediately known.

Police on the scene said the eastbound highway is not expected to reopen until sometime this evening at the earliest, and Sadler said traffic is being diverted through downtown Little Rock along Interstate 30. The westbound highway is open, but traffic is moving slowly, Sadler said.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.

Photo by Spencer Willems
Emergency officials respond to the scene on Interstate 440 near the Fourche Dam Pike exit where two 18-wheelers caught fire Wednesday afternoon, causing traffic to stall in both directions.
Photo by Gavin Lesnick
Emergency officials respond to the scene on Interstate 440 near the Fourche Dam Pike exit where two 18-wheelers caught fire Wednesday afternoon, causing traffic to stall in both directions.
Photo by Gavin Lesnick
Firefighters work around the wreckage of a truck that caught fire in a wreck Wednesday on Interstate 440 in Little Rock.
Photo by Gavin Lesnick
One person died in the fiery wreck Wednesday, March 19, 2014 on Interstate 440.

Sponsor Content

Archived Comments

  • tucson2
    March 19, 2014 at 7:41 p.m.

    "the Impala went into reverse". ????

  • TheGoodGuy
    March 19, 2014 at 9 p.m.

    And the idiot driver of the Impala was probably a black woman who is now going to try to sue Walmart and whoever else Peter Miller can think of suing.

  • maingear
    March 20, 2014 at 9:15 a.m.

    If the preliminary report holds true, and the imbecile driving the car survives, it is my sincere wish that:

    1. She wakes up every morning of her remaining days tormented by the realization that her stupidity and carelessness took away a son, father, brother, husband, etc. and renders her to fits of sleep at night.

    2. She is charged with vehicular homicide and is sentenced to the maximum allowable prison and fines.

    3. She in NEVER permitted to drive a vehicle again.

    Of course, the only thing that will happen is # 1, but only if she has a conscience.

  • cableguy
    March 20, 2014 at 9:23 a.m.

    I have seen cars coming to a complete stop or driving dangerously slow on the highway, so this wreck does not surprise me at all. I wish highway department would tell the truth and admit excessively slow driving probably causes more wrecks than speeding. Distracted driving is also a culprit. Talking on the phone and talking to passengers is just as distracting as texting. I don't believe in creating new laws, but I think it is time to make it illegal to talk on a hand held phone while driving. There is a technology called blue tooth that everyone should be using while driving .

  • maingear
    March 20, 2014 at 9:40 a.m.


    There is an even better technology than blue tooth. Abstinence. You know as well as I do that a massive number of drivers become distracted picking their nose, and the subsequent inventory of "findings" take their eyes away from the road.

    Even light conversation while driving can be dangerous. I used to talk hands free while driving and noted my reaction times were significantly affected. So I am abstinent with technology except talk radio.

  • Morebeer
    March 20, 2014 at 10:05 a.m.

    I think I got it cableguy, everyone should drive like you, too fast and talking on bluetooth is OK. I think it's called narcissism.

  • TheBatt
    March 20, 2014 at 12:05 p.m.

    Driving in REVERSE on the interstate????? There are several exists on I440 where, if one misses their exit, they can take and loop back to their intended exit.

    This is beyond awful. I agree with "maingear" - this is vehicular homicide at minimum. There should be prison time involved, if the driver survives. Further - drivers license should be permanently revoked.

  • dman
    March 20, 2014 at 1:09 p.m.

    She was reportedly backing up because she missed her exit.

  • RaylanGivens
    March 20, 2014 at 1:58 p.m.

    If she missed her exit and is from the LR metro she needs to be thrown in jail for a long, long time. She was just under 2 miles from the Scott exit where she could have turned around and made it back to her exit with less than 5 minutes wasted. I have heard she missed the Springer exit, and if so she passed 3 exits before even realizing it; one more wasn't going to make a difference. I hope she realizes the agonizing death she caused; there were people trying to get him out of the burning truck but couldn't break the glass.

  • cableguy
    March 20, 2014 at 2:23 p.m.

    @ Dontsufferfools I have not had a speeding ticket in over 15 years. People should drive with the flow of traffic. You are probably one of those inconsiderate people that has no life that get a kick out of slowing down the flow of traffic. @ Maingear abstinence will not work unless it is law. Any distracting driving is bad. People that do not drive with the flow of traffic cause wrecks which include slow drivers.