April 09, 2014 Edition

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Woman arrested
after fatal accident


Vivian Heyl
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Police Department arrested Andrea Spradling of Pocahontas on April 2 on charges of negligent homicide. The arrest stemmed from a traffic accident involving Spradling on March 31, which resulted in the death of Carmen Stayton of Walnut Ridge.

When emergency personnel arrived at the accident scene at the intersection of Southeast Fourth Street and Highway 412 East, they found a small passenger car on the north side of Highway 412, which was occupied by a female driver, Carmen Stayton, who was fatally injured in the crash.

Emergency personnel also found a second vehicle, a pickup truck, occupied by Spradling at the scene.

The affidavit said that both vehicles had extensive damage, with the pickup exhibiting damage to the front of the vehicle and the car having extensive damage to the driver side door area.

Damage indicated that the passenger car driven by Stayton was struck in the side by the pickup truck driven by Spradling at a high rate of speed.

Walnut Ridge Officer Gary Tate's fatal accident report cites that investigators found that the vehicle driven by Spradling made no attempt to stop at the stop sign on Southeast Fourth Street and was traveling at a high rate of speed.

According to the report, officers also smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Spradling as she was being loaded in the ambulance and a beer can was found on the floor of the vehicle.

Spradling was airlifted to a Memphis hospital after the accident, but was later released. A warrant was issued for Spradling who turned herself in and was later transported to the Lawrence County Jail.

Investigators are awaiting a full toxicology report on Spradling before formal charges are filed.

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