BRYANT, Ark. — Two people are dead after a semi truck veered out of its lane and hit a vehicle that had been stopped by a Bryant police officer.
Around 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, Bryant Officer Seth Wakefield conducted a routine traffic stop on I-30 Eastbound around the 123-mile marker while working with the DWI Task Force.
This is a state funded task force that allows officers to look for any individuals that might be driving while impaired.
Officer Wakefield noticed a vehicle that had defective equipment and conducted the stop.
The vehicle was then pulled over on the inside lane next to the center median wall.
Once the stop was completed, Officer Wakefield returned to his patrol unit.
After the stop, the two cars were struck by a FedEx truck driving in the far left lane, which resulted in the deaths of 19-year-old Treylin Cranford of Little Rock and 23-year-old Adriana Greenwood of Pointblank, TX.
Officer Wakefield sustained minor injuries and was treated and released from Saline Memorial Hospital.
All lanes of I-30 reopened around 8:30 a.m.
Bryant police say while their thoughts are with everyone involved, they hope this tragedy raises awareness about traffic laws.
"There is a 'move over' law," said Sgt. Todd Crowson with the Bryant Police Department.
State law requires drivers to move over for emergency vehicles or authorized vehicles displaying flashing lights.
Drivers must move to the farthest lane. If the driver can't get over, they must reduce speed and use caution.
If a driver violates the law, they can be fined up to $500.
"Whether it's a police officer or construction worker, someone changing a flat tire, it's a courtesy to move over for safety reasons," Sgt. Crowson added.
FedEx Ground released a statement regarding the accident:
“First and foremost we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the individuals involved in this incident. Safety is our highest priority and we are cooperating fully with the investigating authorities at this time.”
The two people who died from the crash were students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
UAPB Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander expressed his condolences in a letter to the campus community and reached out to the victims' families.
Counselors will be available to UAPB students, faculty, and staff for those experiencing distress over their loss.
We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.