Deputy remembers son, who died in crash

BAXTER COUNTY, AR (KAIT/KARK) - Funeral services will be held Friday for a young man whose family and friends say cared for people and the feeling was reciprocal.

According to a report from Little Rock television station KARK, Joe Stephen died Monday in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 177 in Baxter County. Within minutes of the accident, Mike Stephen got a call about the accident.

"They toned it out and I heard it," Mike Stephen, who is also a Stone County deputy, told KARK.

Mike Stephen called his lieutenant and said he felt like he needed to go to the scene due to it sounding like a bad accident.

When he got there, he found out what happened from a state trooper.

"There was a ball of officers and we just all kneeled down and prayed," Mike Stephen told KARK.

For the Stephen family, working in emergency services is almost second nature. Mike Stephen is also the Pineville Volunteer Fire Chief, while eight of Joe's family members were at the crash scene working as first responders.

Mike Stephen said his son, who also worked as a firefighter in Pineville, was happy. Joe Stephen was heading home Monday night to check on his girlfriend, who is pregnant with their first baby, when the crash happened.

According to KARK, the child, Ryker, is expected to be born on Monday.

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