Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Two leap into river to avoid crash; one missing

A jackknifed semi slid at them as they stood by cars after an earlier wreck on an icy bridge in Ark.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Two people jumped from an interstate bridge in southwestern Arkansas into an icy river as a jackknifed 18-wheeler careered toward them early Saturday, and authorities said one person remained missing.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said troopers and employees of the state Game and Fish Commission and water-rescue units from Hempstead and Miller Counties were called to search for the missing person along the Little Red River.

Three people were outside their vehicles after an earlier accident on the icy bridge when a commercial truck jackknifed and slid toward them. Two people leaped over the guardrail and into the water during 29-degree weather.

One person was recovered almost immediately. Game and Fish Commission spokesman Keith Stephens said the search for the other person downstream from the Interstate 30 bridge near Fulton, was called off shortly after 6 p.m. because of darkness. He said the search would resume Sunday.

The bridge eventually was cleared, and traffic flowed again, though roads were treacherous.

Snow swept into Arkansas from Texas and Oklahoma on Friday, generally leaving 2-4 inches in a swath from the Ouachita Mountains to near Memphis, Tenn. Schools dismissed early, but in the Little Rock metro area, the snow came late in the evening rush hour and tied up traffic for hours.

Little Rock officials said the city closed five roads because they were blocked by abandoned cars or were unsafe.

City Manager Bruce T. Moore said that 40 workers were out Friday night to address the storm and that 70 were on duty Saturday morning. Workers were scraping and salting the roads and putting down sand.

He also said police would tow cars left in roadways if they were restricting traffic or were parked in an unsafe place.

Kelly P. Kissel Associated Press
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