Man charged with negligent homicide in fatal crash

Man charged with negligent homicide in fatal crash

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A Walnut Ridge man faces two counts of negligent homicide in a fatal crash that claimed the lives of a Region 8 couple.

Henry Boyce, prosecuting attorney for Third Judicial District, formally charged 58-year-old Ronnie Edward Barnes in the deaths of Phyllis and Nelson Gatewood.

According to court documents, Barnes had methamphetamines in his system when his vehicle crashed into the Gatewood's van on July 31.

Phyllis Gatewood was making a left turn from U.S. Highway 62/412 in Ash Flat when Barnes's pickup truck slammed into the right front side, the affidavit stated.

Investigators say Barnes was traveling at 71 miles per hour in a 45 mile an hour zone just before impact.

The impact forced both cars off the road. The Gatewoods' van crossed the ditch and traveled up an embankment, striking two other vehicles, before coming to a stop. The husband and wife were killed.

Barnes was airlifted to a Little Rock hospital with serious injuries.

A sample of his blood was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory. According to the court documents, the tests revealed he had methamphetamine and benzodiazepines in his system.

A judge issued a warrant for Barnes' arrest on Oct. 6 for two counts of felony negligent homicide.

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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