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Springdale man arrested after fatal crash

by Tracy Neal | June 18, 2021 at 10:27 a.m.
File photo

BENTONVILLE -- A Springdale man claimed the woman killed in a car crash was the driver, but later admitted he was the person behind the wheel, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Michael Dattalo, 46, was being held Thursday in the Benton County Jail. He was arrested in connection with negligent homicide, battery, driving under the influence, four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, obstruction of governmental operations, reckless driving, possession of open container, possession of controlled substance, seatbelt violation, careless and prohibited driving, and driving with suspended or revoked license.

Prosecutors have not filed any formal charges against Dattalo.

A 2005 Mazda 6 with three people inside crashed at 9:35 p.m. Monday on Arkansas 72, east of Pea Ridge, according to court documents.

Zenda Staab, an Arkansas State trooper, responded to the single-vehicle crash, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Dattalo and David Crow, a passenger in the vehicle, had been taken to Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville; Cheryl Vicknair, another passenger, was dead upon arrival at the hospital, according to the affidavit.

Staab determined the vehicle went off the road to the left, then hit a fence and continued west until hitting the embankment to a driveway. The vehicle then went airborne and rolled when it landed, according to the affidavit.

Staab found two methamphetamine pipes, a pill bottle and a pack of Smirnoff alcohol at the crash scene, according to the affidavit. She requested another trooper go to the hospital to get statements and blood from the driver, according to the affidavit.

Dattalo told that trooper that Vicknair, 41, of Springdale was the driver, but told a hospital employee he was driving the vehicle, according to the affidavit. Dattalo declined to provide a blood sample when asked by the trooper, according to the affidavit.

Staab requested a blood warrant from a judge. She interviewed Dattalo at the hospital and noticed his eyes were bloodshot and watery, while his speech was incoherent and slurred, according to the affidavit.

Dattalo then told Staab that he was driving the vehicle, but later said he was not driving and had never been in the car, according to the affidavit. He also told Staab that he would always drive because Vicknair did not have a driver's license, according to the affidavit.

The warrant was served and a sample of Dattalo's blood was obtained, but the affidavit did not contain the results.

Dattalo's arraignment is scheduled for 8 a.m. July 26 in Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren's courtroom.

Print Headline: Springdale man arrested after fatal crash

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