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18-Wheeler Accident on Hwy 71 Results in Fatality


A collision involving an 18-wheeler and a 2000 Lincoln Towncar resulted in a fatality this morning. The accident occurred just around 7 a.m. on Hwy 71 North near Hillcrest.

Arkansas State Police, Polk County Sheriff’s Department, Office of Emergency Management and Acorn Fire Department all responded. Officials on the scene said the driver of the 18-wheeler, John W. Draper of Shreveport, Lousiana, was northbound when the Towncar veered into the cab of his rig. The cab was quickly engulfed but the driver was able to escape without injury. However, Polk County Coroner Brian Bowser pronounced the driver of the Towncar on the scene. The name of the driver of the car was Carolyn Strandridge, age 68, of Mena.

Road conditions were wet following a morning shower and visibility was impaired. Traffic was blocked for a time causing multiple delays with school buses for both Mena and Ouachita River school buses as officials worked to clear the highway of debris.



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