HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) – Chris Carney, former MTV reality show personality and the son of the mayor of Hot Springs, was reportedly killed in a car accident on Friday morning, along with one of his childhood friends.
State police were called to the single-vehicle crash along U.S. Highway 70 East around 1:40 a.m.
According to the Arkansas State Police, the driver was identified as 37-year-old Ezekiel Blanton. Both Blanton and Carney were pronounced dead at the scene. Carney's family said Blanton was a childhood friend.
"Chris and Zeke were really good friends. They had been friends for a long time," said Ralph Ohm, District Judge for Garland County.
Ohm has known the family for more than 10 years, and he like the rest of the community were devastated to hear the news.
"He was one of those guys that you're immediately drawn to. The Carney's have been pillars of our community for a long time," explained Ohm.
Preliminary investigation indicated that the vehicle was traveling westbound, approximately six miles east of Hot Springs. Police say the vehicle failed to negotiate a curve and over-corrected, leading to a collision with a tree.
According to Ohm, it appears as thought they had both been in Little Rock for a fantasy football event and were traveling back home when the crash occurred.
This incident makes 12 deaths on Highway 70 since November 2014.
Carney is married to former Disney Channel star Tiffany Thornton, of the show "Sonny With a Chance." She is currently a radio personality on KLAZ 105.9, based in Hot Springs.
The station shared this statement on Facebook:
Our hearts are breaking at KLAZ and Noalmark Broadcasting.Our Tiffany Thornton's husband died in an auto crash last night.Please send up your prayers for Tiffany and her family.She is loved by us and our many listeners.
Carney is known for his work as lead singer in the band "The Prom Kings," and he was also featured on the MTV show "twentyfourseven." Featuring Carney and his younger brother Greg, the show was about their move to L.A. to follow their dreams.
The Hot Springs city board staff released this statement:
The City of Hot Springs Board of Directors, staff and employees extend their heartfelt sympathy to Mayor Ruth Carney, Rev. Ken Carney, Tiffany Thornton Carney, and the entire family upon the death of Chris Carney in a car accident which occurred early this morning. Please keep the Carney family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.
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