Fatal Accident Kills 1 and Injures 2 Others

DECEMBER 20, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:00 P.M. CST

POINSETT COUNTY, AR -- Just 5 days away from Christmas, a Region 8 family is now mourning the loss of a loved one.   The wreck happened on Arkansas State Highway 163 Wednesday afternoon, about 5 miles north of Harrisburg.

"It appeared the gravel truck crossed the center line and struck the van head on, killing the driver of the van," says Corporal Don Browning of the Arkansas State Police.

Around 1:30 on a dreary Wednesday afternoon, a grandmother and her grandson were heading south along Highway 163 when a gravel truck heading the other direction crossed the line, causing a head-on collision.

Fifty-eight year old Linda Cole of Harrisburg was dead at the scene of the accident. Her young grandson was injured and immediately taken to NEA Hospital. The driver of the gravel truck, 33 year old Ricky Pruitt of Trumann was also injured and taken to the hospital.

It's a deadly strip of highway that has seen it's fair share of fatal accidents. Crosses along the road mark the exact spot where nearly 4 years ago, a bad wreck claimed the life of young child.

"On 163, we work several serious P.I. accidents due to the narrowness of the road and the curves involved. In this particular area, we've had other accidents in the past," says Corp. Browning.

Now, a grandmother joins the list of those killed along this dangerous road. Several crews were on the scene: Harrisburg Fire and Rescue, Poinsett County Sheriff's Department, and the Arkansas State Police. Rescue workers had to use the jaws of life to cut open the vehicle.

The driver of the gravel truck, 33 year old Ricky Pruitt of Trumann and the young child, who was the passenger in the minivan are both being treated at the NEA Medical Center in Jonesboro.  K8 News contacted the hospital, but we were unable to get an update on their conditions.