Local officials report one fatality during BBB

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A local man was killed in a motorcycle accident last week, one day before Bikes, Blues and BBQ officially began.

According to a report from the Arkansas State Police, Jerry Baker, 63, of Green Forest died at 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, on Highway 62 between Green Forest and Berryville. The report says Baker’s motorcycle was negotiating a right-hand turn when it crossed the center line, traveled to the south side of Highway 62 and struck a highway sign.

Though it’s unclear whether the accident was related to Bikes, Blues and BBQ, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Maj. George Frye said it was the only fatal motorcycle accident reported over the past week.

“Otherwise, it was a pretty tame weekend,” Frye said. “We had no extra calls as a result of it. It’s been pretty quiet.”

Eureka Springs fire chief Nick Samac agreed, saying there were no fatal accidents in Eureka Springs.

“We did have several motorcycle accidents, which is inevitable when you inundate this portion of the state with that many motorcycles,” Samac said.

The fire department received 39 calls for an ambulance over the weekend, Samac said, and nine were motor vehicle accidents. Eureka Springs police chief Brian Young said he’s pleased with how well the weekend went.

“We had congestion, but accidents were low compared to prior years,” Young said. “I was surprised we had very few accidents inside the city limits related to Bikes, Blues and BBQ.”

Some of the accidents happened in rural Eureka Springs, Samac said, on Highway 62 West or Highway 23 South. Samac thanked rural responders for being available during the weekend, saying their help means everything. Rural responders arrive on the scene before anyone else, Samac said, to help assess the situation.

“Our rural fire departments are such a necessary resource,” Samac said. “They get there before the ambulance, assessing the scene and determining what resources we are going to need. They can make that determination long before we get there.”

Brandy Moore, who works with Central EMS, said there were no fatalities reported in Washington County during the weekend.

“We don’t normally have no fatalities,” Moore said. “That’s an improvement.”

There was one other fatal motorcycle accident in Arkansas over the past week, although it’s unclear whether it was related to Bikes, Blues and BBQ. John W. Jameson, 59, of Parks was killed in a one-vehicle accident Sunday morning on Highway 270 West in Polk County.

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