BY LEANN DILBECK –
Rain slickened roads caused a two-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon that has claimed the lives of two and injured four.
According to Arkansas State Police Trooper Chris Spurling, at approximately 3:54 p.m., Courtney McCormack was driving her 1998 Nissan Altima with her 2-year old daughter, Paylon, eastbound on Hwy 8 East when her “worn” tires were unable to maintain grip of the wet highway as she negotiated a curve, known well to locals as Smith’s curve, approximately three miles from Mena.
According to the ASP report filed, McCormack lost control of her Altima and slid sideways into a westbound 1997 GMC Yukon being driven by Herbert Atkinson. Traveling with Atkinson were 12-year old Dakota Atkinson, Kameron Atkinson, age 14, and Brandon Atkinson, age 17.
Herbie said despite enduring a broken ankle and other injuries, Kameron was out walking following the collision trying desperately to open doors and help his family.
Assisting the ASP with the accident was Polk County’s Fire and Rescue team, multiple first responders, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Southwest EMS.
Courtney McCormack, age 19, and Dakota Atkinson were both killed in the accident.
Paylon Sage was transported to Mena Regional Health System before being airlifted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in critical condition. As of Monday, Paylon’s condition was still listed as critical but stable.
Herbie, Kameron, and Brandon all sustained major injuries; however, Herbie and Kameron have since been released from MRHS while Brandon was transported to St. Joseph’s. Brandon underwent surgery Monday for a broken leg and is expected to be released Wednesday.
An account has been established at Dallas Avenue Baptist Church to assist the Atkinson family with funeral and medical expenses. Checks should be made payable to Dallas Avenue Baptist Church and denote Atkinson family on the memo line.