Police: 2 killed, one airlifted following Saturday night crash - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Police: 2 killed, one airlifted following Saturday night crash

LAKE CITY, AR (KAIT) - The Lake City Police Department has released the names of the people who died in a Saturday night crash involving two cars. 

According to police, Kenneth Collins Jr ,40, and Matthew Rutherford, 33, were killed in last night's crash. The passenger in one of the cars was airlifted to Little Rock with a broken shoulder and head injury.

Lake City Police Officer Chris Walker told Region 8 News Rutherford was traveling east on Highway 18 in a 2003 GMC pickup truck in the left lane when he crossed the center line and struck a 2013 Jeep Wrangler heading west in the far right lane.The truck struck the vehicle head on. 

The Jeep caught fire at the scene. Walker said Rutherford was pronounced dead at the scene.  

"We walked into a real bad wreck," said Tanayia Echols of Blytheville. 

Echols and four of her friends were driving to Jonesboro last night when they saw a cloud of smoke up ahead. Echols said they were two cars behind the accident. 


"We started talking to the people asking are ya'll okay, are ya'll okay," she said. 

At that point Echols said they were trying to help free the passengers from the cars. One of the drivers started waving her arm trying to get help. Echols said they started prying the door open.

"It was a slight fire under the truck but they kept trying to get the people out," she said. "They started getting bottles of water, fire extinguisher, anything to put the fire out.”

Echols says police and fire fighters were on the scene. She said they were able to free a passenger from one of the cars but the people in the second car were not responding. 

"A couple of people tried to give them CPR inside the truck because there was no way to get him out at all," she said. 

Echols said they stayed on the scene until the helicopter touched down to airlift one of the passengers to the hospital.  She said she has never witnessed an accident of this magnitude before. 

"We tried our best to get these people out and I wish I could have done more," she said. 

The crash happened at the intersection of Highways 18 and 135 around 8:45 pm Saturday according to Lake City Police Chief Winfred Saffell. The crash shut down the highway until nearly Midnight. 

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