FORT SMITH -- A man was arrested Tuesday in a fatal hit-and-run in Alma.
Humberto Pacheco of Fort Smith was arrested by the Alma Police Department about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and booked into the Crawford County jail, accused of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury, a felony, Alma Police Chief Jeff Pointer said on Wednesday.
The Alma officers were dispatched to the area of U.S. 64 E and the Alma city limits on Tuesday for a call about a pedestrian accident, an affidavit states. It was determined that the driver of a vehicle that had hit two boys had left the scene. The severely injured boys were found in the middle of the road.
Both boys were put into ambulances and police were notified later that one had been pronounced dead. The other child was taken to Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith and later transferred to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.
Pointer said the child was still in critical condition on Wednesday. Neither he nor the affidavit disclosed the victims' identities.
Police collected evidence from the scene and determined the type of vehicle involved in the accident, the affidavit states. A sergeant with the Crawford County sheriff's office spotted a vehicle bearing damage consistent with the collected evidence, a 1998 Freightliner, at Delfines Trucking at 4308 Alma Highway in Van Buren. The vehicle was seized and moved to the sheriff's office. The affidavit said that a search warrant will be sought for it.
Pacheco arrived at the trucking office after he was notified that the police were seizing his truck. He agreed to go to the Alma Police Department to be interviewed. He was informed of his rights and provided a translator, the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, he told police that he left Delfines Trucking about 5 a.m. and drove east on U.S. 64 E toward Alma. Nearing the city, he passed the weigh scale and was looking at the traffic signal at U.S. 64 E and Rudy Road when he heard and felt a collision.
Pacheco said that he stopped the vehicle to check for damage, according to the affidavit. He looked back west toward the collision site, and did not see anything. Believing that he had hit a deer, Pacheco returned to Delfines Trucking because his vehicle was damaged, the affidavit said.
Pacheco also said during the interview that he returned to Delfines Trucking later in the morning to use a different truck. Driving down U.S. 64 E once again, he saw the police and cones at the scene but did not stop.
The Crawford County prosecuting attorney's office said that Pacheco was in court Wednesday morning before Circuit Judge Marc McCune for his first appearance. Bail of $100,000 was set and Pacheco was released from the county jail at 12:15 p.m.
The Crawford County sheriff's office, the Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Highway Police and the Van Buren Police Department assisted in the case.