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story.lead_photo.caption Fatal wrecks in Arkansas

A fiery head-on collision on a state highway killed the drivers of both vehicles and injured two minors Thursday evening, authorities said.

Donald Ray Richardson, 55, of Alexander, Ala., was driving a Chevrolet Avalanche north on Arkansas 51 in Arkadelphia around 6:20 p.m. when his vehicle crossed the centerline, according to an Arkansas State Police preliminary crash summary.

The Avalanche struck a Ford Explorer and then caught fire, the report said. Richardson and the driver of the Explorer, 50-year-old Christy Renee Shuffield of Arkadelphia, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

The report didn't list the ages or the conditions of the passengers.

The two youths were riding in separate vehicles.

[RELATED: Click here for full coverage of fatal wrecks in Arkansas » arkansasonline.com/fatalwrecks/]

The wreck was one of at least three fatal crashes as rain fell Thursday evening across Arkansas.

Another head-on collision occurred around 6:10 p.m. in Oden in Montgomery County, state police said.

Jackie Fast, 79, was driving a GMC Terrain west on Arkansas 88 when the vehicle crossed the centerline and struck a Ford Ranger, according to the crash summary.

A passenger in the Terrain, 74-year-old Judith Fast of Mena, suffered fatal injuries. Jackie Fast was injured.

Around 4:50 p.m. in Garland County, a Nissan Frontier hydroplaned into the opposing traffic lane while traveling on U.S. 70, according to a separate report.

A Chevrolet Impala then struck the Frontier, and the Frontier flipped, injuring its driver and passenger. The driver of the Impala, 66-year-old Katherine Kennedy of Bonnerdale, died.

CORRECTION: Because of incorrect information in a police report, an earlier version of this story misstated how a wreck on U.S. 70 in Garland County occurred. A Nissan Frontier hydroplaned and veered into the opposite lane of traffic.

Metro on 11/24/2019

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