Two killed in crash on U.S. Highway 62

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

CCN staff report

Two people were killed and four others were seriously injured Tuesday afternoon in a head-on collision about a mile west of Green Forest on U.S. Highway 62.

According to an Arkansas State Police report, both drivers, Florencia Montufar, 56, of Green Forest; and Richard C. Witt, 65, of Keshena, Wisc.; died from injuries received in the accident, which occurred at about 1:55 p.m., near the road leading to Das Butcher Haus.

Reports early Thursday indicated that the four injured people were expected to recover.

The state police report said Montufar was travelling eastbound on the highway when she, for "unknown reasons," crossed the center line into the westbound lane in her 1999 Jeep and crashed head-on into the 2003 Hyundai driven by Witt.

Emergency crews from St. John's ambulance service and police, deputies, and first-responders from Green Forest and other areas of the county responded to aid in extraction and treatment of the drivers and four injured passengers.

Arkansas State Trooper Chad Hipps investigated the accident, and reported that those injured included Victor Ferreira, 14, of the same address in Green Forest as the deceased Montufar; and three passengers in Witt's car were also hurt, including Carol Witt, 56, of Las Vegas, Nev.; Margie Carlson, 58, of Las Vegas, and Dan Carlson, 62, also of Las Vegas.

The report said both drivers apparently died at the scene of the accident. Dan Carlson was airlifted from the scene by helicopter to St. John's Hospital-Springfield, and Victor Ferreira, Carol Witt and Margie Carlson were taken to St. John's Hospital-Berryville, but were also later airlifted to Springfield.

According to the state police report, all the passengers, and driver Richard Witt, were wearing seatbelts, but Montufar was not.

The accident wreckage was extensive at the scene, and one vehicle caught fire. Police and emergency crews had to shut down Highway 62 for two to three hours, backing up traffic for miles, one observer reported.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

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