A Benton man was killed in a one-vehicle accident in Jefferson County Thursday night, and a Sheridan woman died in a two-vehicle accident in Grant County. Also, a Little Rock woman died in a one-vehicle accident in Jefferson County in the early morning hours Saturday.
According to a preliminary report from the Arkansas State Police, Donny Stewart, 43, was southbound on Interstate 530 at mile marker 19 when the 2009 Pontiac he was driving left the west side of the roadway, struck a tree and caught on fire. He was pronounced dead at 11:33 p.m. by Deputy Jefferson County Coroner Eric Belcher.
That accident was reported at 9:47 p.m., and Trooper Kevin Helm said in the preliminary report that the weather was clear and the roadway dry at the time. In the Grant County accident, Shelby Rhodes, 21, was southbound on U.S 67 south of Grant County Road 14 when she lost control of the 2015 Nissan she was driving in the rain. The the vehicle entered into a counter-clockwise rotation and crossed the center turn lane, causing the front of her vehicle to strike a 2008 Ford Mustang that was northbound.
The Nissan then left the roadway and came to rest in a ditch; Rhodes was pronounced dead at the scene by the Grant County coroner. The driver of the Ford, Jermaine Jackson, 32, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was taken to a Little Rock hospital. Trooper First Class Terry Sawyer said in the preliminary report that it was raining and the roadway was wet when the accident was reported at 7:40 p.m.
In the Saturday accident, State Police said Lashanda G. Whittington, 37, was killed when she was struck by a car on U.S. 65 south of Pine Bluff at 4:38 a.m. According to the preliminary report from Trooper Bob Love, Whittington was lying in the middle of the roadway at the time of the accident. Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley said Saturday the body will be sent to the State Crime Laboratory for an autopsy. The two deaths bring to 300 the number of people who have been killed on the state’s highways so far this year.