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Arkansas man charged after 84-year-old veteran dies in high-speed wreck

Arkansas State Police have charged a man with manslaughter and battery after a high-speed wreck killed an 84-year-old Army veteran in Little Rock in April.
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A close-up photo of police lights by night

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas State Police (ASP) have charged a man with manslaughter and battery stemming from a fatal wreck that happened in Little Rock back in April. 

According to a press release from ASP, 20-year-old Darmel Batemon Jr. was taken into custody on Wednesday in connection to the incident. 

Authorities said that the wreck in April killed 84-year-old Army veteran Gerald Allen. The wreck also seriously injured Allen's wife Lucille, according to ASP.

Investigators said that Batemon was racing another person on I-430 North the afternoon of April 8, which is when the fatal accident happened.  

According to police, Batemon was driving a 2012 Dodge Charger when he hit Allen's 2015 Toyota Avalon from the back. This collision forced Allen's Avalon off the road before it hit a tree. 

During the incident, Batemon was also injured, according to ASP. 

“My hope is that this senseless tragedy will serve to help us educate the public about the deadly consequences of street racing,” said ASP Colonel Mike Hagar. “Racing and driving at high rates of speed endanger everyone on the road.”

Batemon was charged with manslaughter and second-degree battery, which are both felony offenses. 

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