BENTONVILLE, Ark. — An Arkansas detective has died after his motorcycle struck an 18-wheeler Saturday, Dec. 17, during a Wreaths Across America event.
Benton County Sheriff’s Detective Paul Newell, 51, of Gravette, Arkansas, was on duty during the Wreath Across America procession when he was killed at about 6:30 a.m. at the intersection of Southeast Walton Boulevard and Southeast Metro Parkway, just west of the Interstate 49 interchange in Bentonville, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Newell was riding a motorcycle eastbound in the center turn lane of Walton Boulevard. A 2022 Freightliner truck was also eastbound, the report states. At some point, Newell hit the curb, lost control and struck the rig, according to reports.
Staff for local tv station KNWA/Fox 24 were on the scene of the accident and reported a Walmart truck pulled over on the side of the road after the accident. The Wreaths Across America event moved forward and took place at 10 a.m. at the Fayetteville National Cemetery in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
KNWA reported that there were a total of three trucks scheduled to deliver wreaths, with one each from Northwest Arkansas-based companies: Walmart, Tyson and J.B. Hunt. The Walmart truck reportedly did not deliver its wreaths.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office would identify Newell as the officer killed later that morning. KATV said that Newell had been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1998 and most recently served as a detective with the Criminal Investigation Division.
“It is with profound sadness that Benton County Sheriff Shawn Holloway announces the on-duty tragic death of Detective Paul Daniel Newell, 51 of Gravette Arkansas. Detective Newell was involved in a traffic accident early Saturday morning while escorting the Wreath Across America procession through Bentonville Arkansas, an organization that provides wreaths to Veterans Cemeteries across America,” the Facebook post from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office stated.
In a Twitter post, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson wrote: “I’m deeply saddened to learn Arkansas lost a member of the law enforcement family today in a tragic accident. My prayers are with Benton County Deputy Paul Newell’s family, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, and the law enforcement community.”
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