At least four people died in crashes on Arkansas roads as a wintry system moved through a broad swath of the state Friday, turning roadways slick and prompting schools and state offices to shut down for the day.
In a report released Monday morning, Arkansas State Police said 46-year-old Otis D. Love of Memphis died in a crash Friday morning when he lost control of his pickup on an Interstate 40 bridge near mile marker 254 in St. Francis County.
Love was traveling west around 9:45 a.m. when his pickup veered into a bridge barrier, crossed both westbound lanes and hit the barrier on the other side of the highway before colliding with a tractor trailer, the report said. It was snowing at the time and the highway was said to be wet. The other driver wasn't hurt.
Daniel Blair, 49, of Benton died when his vehicle hit an ice patch on westbound Interstate 30 in Saline County and then struck a concrete barrier at 8:20 a.m. Friday, authorities previously said. The vehicle overturned and then landed on its wheels in the middle of the interstate. The highway was said to be covered in ice and snow.
A child, meanwhile, was reported Friday to have been killed in a crash that morning on U.S. 65 at Bee Branch in Van Buren County when the Dodge the boy was riding in slid into the southbound lane and was hit by a semi-truck, police said. Authorities later reported that the driver of the Dodge — 40-year-old Amanda Sue McKinnon — also died from her injuries. The highway was snow-covered.
The four deaths Friday bring to seven the number of fatalities in traffic crashes so far this year, according to preliminary figures.
Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Eric Besson contributed to this story.