JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- A late night incident on Monday leaves a Jacksonville firefighter dead and two emergency responders in critical condition.
They were working a call just off State Highway 161 near the city limits Monday night. A woman had veered off the road, hitting a gas main. But it's what happened next that has officials at a loss.
The Jacksonville fire department is mourning after the death of one of their own. Captain Donald Jones was killed last night in the line of duty. Less than 24 hours later, officials with the Jacksonville Fire and Police departments are investigating and working to comfort the families of those affected.
An old two-lane highway. Little traffic and few homes. Just off the 8400 block of 161.
"There was an accident, a one vehicle accident that had hit a gas main," says April Kiser, PIO for the Jacksonville Police Department.
Kiser says moments later a second vehicle flew through, dodging barricades.
"We do have witnesses that he did accelerate and did go around emergency vehicles in attempts to hit the officers," Kiser adds.
The driver of that car was Bryce Allen. Allen hit three emergency responders Captain Donald Jones and Engineer Jason Bowmaster of the Jacksonville Fire Department and Officer Daniel DiMatteo with Jacksonville Police.
"I got the fire chief's worst nightmare that hearing that one of your firefighters had been killed in the line of duty," says John Vanderhoof, Fire Chief for the Jacksonville Fire Department.
Vanderhoof says Captain Jones served with the Jacksonville Fire Department for 31 years.
"To lose a fellow fireman is like losing not so much a brother, but it's like losing a part of your life. Losing a part of yourself," Vanderhoof adds.
But surrounding fire departments are offering condolences.
"That's what makes all fire departments so strong is support that you have throughout the state, throughout the nation in fact," adds Vanderhoof.
Vanderhoof says this is the first line-of-duty death he's seen during his 42 years as a fireman.
"We're dealing with the loss and we'll move forward," explains Vanderhoof.
Tuesday the flag outside the Jacksonville flew at half-staff in memory of Captain Donald Jones.
Engineer Jason Bowmaster has been with the Jacksonville Fire Department for 13 years. Officer Daniel DiMatteo has only been with the Jacksonville Police Department for a year and 3 months. Both men are still listed in critical condition.
Bryce Allen's mother, Thelma, was driving the car that hit the gas main. Police say she's not being charged in connection with this incident. Kiser with Jacksonville Police says she did not sustain any major injuries.
Allen is charged with 2nd degree murder and criminal intent to commit 2nd degree murder. His bond is set at 750-thousand dollars and officer transported him to the Pulaski County Jail Tuesday morning. Police have not released a motive for Allen's actions.