Collision on U.S. 63 Sends Five to Hospital

October 25, 2006--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--A serious accident Wednesday morning on U.S. 63 in Jonesboro sends five people to the hospital and closed the major roadway in both directions for two hours.

The two car accident occurred just north of Dan Avenue on the Highway 63 bypass a little after  9:00 a.m.

37-year-old Tracey Poole was traveling north on 63 with her three children when her SUV collided head-on with a pick-up driven by Derrick Hancock. Poole was airlifted to St. Bernards while her three children and Hancock were all transported by ambulance to St. Bernards for treatment.

Wednesday morning's wreck was just another example of the hazards that U.S. 63 can pose for drivers. For a truck driver it's a scary way to start your morning.

"I was coming up the hill on Highway 63 North and I saw a SUV and another SUV come together," said truck driver Leander Blair.

Blair has driven a truck for seven years and has never seen anything like what he saw in Wednesday's wreck.

"It was something like my stomach dropped and I got really scared," said Blair.

U.S. 63 around Jonesboro has seen it's share of scary accidents over the years. Despite the money and work that has gone into the project, there are still spots that cause problems like the one on Wednesday.

"It's on a grade and a slight curve to the right. It's a dangerous area because curve and the traffic coming out of the straight on the four lane," said Corporal Don Browning of the Arkansas State Police.

This particular stretch of Highway 63 can create a number of different problems for a driver. The road drops from being divided to undivided and has a sharp curve. At 65 miles per hour any lapse in attention could put you in the other lane and create a huge disaster.

"In my experience, I have noticed people negoitiated the curve north bound and will cross over the center line," said Browning.

That was the case Wednesday when Poole's SUV crossed the center line. While the trooper said this was a serious accident, he added it could have been much worse.

"The quick response definantely saved minutes and possibly saved lives," said Browning.