Sheriff: Flooded highway turning into 'vehicle graveyard'

Sheriff: Flooded highway turning into 'vehicle graveyard'

JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - "A vehicle graveyard."

That's how Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas describes a submerged section of Highway 37 near Elgin.

In the last two days, his deputies have made five water rescues after motorists ignored the signs and drove around road closed barricades.

The latest came just after 8 p.m. Friday night. The sheriff's office received a call that Whitney Williams, 30, of Jonesboro went around the barricades on Highway 37 at Elgin in a Pontiac G6 and became submerged in the water.

Williams was rescued and was taken to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and charged with bypassing a barricade, driving on a suspended drivers license, and possession of a controlled substance. She also has a warrant out of Miami, Florida.

Just after 9 a.m. Friday when a Nissan Altima driven by Duane Henderson, 47, of Mississippi drove into the floodwaters and became submerged.

In a social media post, the sheriff's department said Henderson managed to escape from the car and swim to safety.

He is not the only out-of-towner who has found himself depending on the local authorities to fish him from the waters.

Earlier in the day, 48-year-old Jarris Jones of Georgia bypassed the barricades and ended up with his 18-wheeler submerged.

Deputies boated out to his big rig and helped pull him out of the cab.

On Thursday, another Georgia man thought his pickup truck, which was hauling another truck, could make it across the flooded road. He was wrong.

Once again, deputies had to boat out to 33-year-old Charles Berko's stranded vehicle and take him to safety.

A Florida trucker ended up in the same situation Thursday morning when the waters swept away his semi-truck and trailer.

Deputies cited the driver, 63-year-old Ibrahim Velazquez, along with the other three for disregarding a road closed barricade.

Sheriff Lucas has a strong message for those thinking of doing the same: "DON'T GO AROUND THE ROAD CLOSED BARRICADES!"

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