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3 deaths reported in head-on crash on Arkansas interstate, victims identified

Two 18-wheelers were involved in the crash on Interstate 40 in Lonoke County on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: KATV viewer)

UPDATE (4/25):

Authorities have identified the victims of a deadly head-on collision on I-40 in Carlisle on Tuesday.

State police say a truck driven by Jerry Stice, 64, of Westville, Oklahoma, crossed the center line and crashed into a FedEx truck driven by Jesus Escareno, 47, of Houston.

State police say Stice and Escareno died in the collision, along with a passenger in the FedEx truck, Mark Lynch, 55, of Magnolia, Texas.

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ORIGINAL (4/24):

Three people were killed Tuesday afternoon in a head-on crash involving two 18-wheelers in Carlisle, the Arkansas Department of Transportation reported.

Traffic on Interstate 40 in both directions was stopped for hours after the crash occurred about 3:30 p.m.

According to the crash report, an 18-wheeler traveling east on I-40 crossed the median into the westbound traffic lanes striking a second 18-wheeler head on. Photos and videos from the scene show a FedEx rig collided with an 18-wheeler with "Larry Williams Trucking" on the side.

The Department of Transportation said after the crash that the trucks were leaking diesel fuel.

Traffic was diverted to U.S. 70 near mile marker 193 in Hazen.

"It's gonna be hard for the families ," Artrice Nichols, a bystander said.

The accident hits close to home for Nichols, as her grandson is a trucker himself.

"It just makes me start thinking, seeing all of this going on," she said.

The crash, a painful reminder of how fragile life really is.

"When they crash, I cry. I'm hurting badly; praying for the families," Nichols said.

Both eastbound lanes had re-opened by 8:56 p.m., according to the Department of Transportation. Westbound lanes remained closed.

For the latest roadway conditions, visit iDriveArkansas.com.




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