Fatal accident occurs during storm

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Green Forest woman died from injuries sustained in a car accident Wednesday night as severe storms moved through Carroll County.

According to Green Forest assistant fire chief Ed Phillips, the woman was alive at the scene but later died at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas State Police confirmed the woman's identity as Whitney Gardner, 27, of Green Forest.

The accident occurred on Carroll County Road 311, approximately four miles north of Green Forest.

"We were dispatched to assist Oak Grove on a one-vehicle traffic accident with entrapment," Phillips said, noting that hazardous road conditions likely led to the accident.

While the car was on all four wheels when he arrived at the scene, Phillips said it must have flipped at least once during the accident.

Aside from the fatality, Green Forest Mayor Charles Reece reported minimal damage in the city.

Reece said the fire department received multiple calls from Green Forest residents asking where to go for shelter.

"We've always stated that you can go to the fire department. The fire department was pretty full of people going to be safe or protected," he said.

He added that the storm could have been worse.

"We appear to have been fairly lucky because I guess there were some elevated storms in the atmosphere but they didn't touch the ground here," he said.

Though Green Forest did not have much storm damage, Berryville had a few roads needing to be cleared. Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney reported that some trees were down, along with various debris scattered on the streets. Still, he said, there was no major damage.

"We haven't had any reports of businesses or structural damage. We were pretty fortunate overall," McKinney said.

The storm that hit Wednesday evening dumped heavy rain and hail across the county.

Nick Samac, emergency management coordinator with the Carroll County Office of Emergency Management, said 3.5 to 5 inches of rain fell.

"There's not much damage to county roads or physical property," Samac said.

Samac added that county officials would continue to assess county roads and other infrastructure for damage.

The National Weather Service bureau in Tulsa said it would not have any information regarding the storm available until Friday.

Tornado warnings were issued for Carroll County on at least two occasions Wednesday, but there were no details available Thursday about whether there was an actual tornado in the county.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: