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Chain-reaction crash kills son, injures mother

According to the Arkansas State Police preliminary report, Austin G. Jarrett, 25, of Cabot, died Thursday in a six-vehicle chain reaction crash that injured Cathy J. Jarrett, 48, and 12 others. The Jarretts were in the third vehicle involved in the crash.

Austin Jarrett was a 2008 Cabot High School graduate, attending Lonoke Exceptional School at Cabot. Memorial service is 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 27, at Mount Tabor United Methodist Church, at Cabot; burial will be in Walnut Grove Cemetery (Elm Store), at Pocahontas.

The accident occurred at about 8 a.m., in the eastbound lane of Interstate 40 near mile marker 200 in Prairie County. The roadway is a construction zone where traffic in both directions is funneled into single lanes.

Apparently the first vehicle, a 2013 Freightliner tractor-trailer, driven by Dornell Dewindt, 30, of Riverdale Ga., had stopped in the roadway because of road debris.

Vehicle 2, a 2012 Volvo tractor-trailer, driven by John Wieczorkowski, 48, of Valley Grove W. Va.; Vehicle 3, the 2007 Toyota Camry driven by Cathy Jarrett; Vehicle 4, a Ford E350 Van, driven by Jose Estrada, 40, of Galena Texas and Vehicle 5, a 2005 Volvo driven by Brandon Whitt, 36, of Maple Heights Ohio, had stopped behind Vehicle 1.

Vehicle 6, a 2007 Kenworth, driven by Charles Williams, 36, of Webber Falls, Okla., struck the rear of Whitt’s vehicle, leading to the chair reaction involving the others.

The injured were taken to hospitals in Stuttgart, North Little Rock, and Little Rock by helicopter and ambulances.

Injured in the accident were Cathy Jarrett, Jose Estrada, 40; Claudia Estrada, 38; Nolemi Estrada, 14; Candy Hernandez, 13; Dana Estrada, 17; Danelia Flores, 16; and Orlando Estrada, 7, all of Galena, Texas; Brisa Salazar, 12; and Lluvia Hernandez, 21, both of Houston Texas; Maria Puente, 55, of San Antonio, Texas; and Brandon Whitt, 27, of Maple Heights, Ohio.

Charles Williams, driver of Vehicle 6, was also injured.

Dewindt and John Wieczorkowski, driver of Vehicle 2, were not injured.

According to information from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department the accident occurred in a construction zone where eastbound and westbound traffic shares lanes. Traffic was rerouted to U.S. Highway 70 at the Brinkley and Carlisle interchanges for most of the day.

Funeral arrangements were by Cabot Funeral Home.

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