Hazardous travel reported on Arkansas roads, portions of Interstate 40 closed

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Interstate 40 Arkansas
Traffic along Interstate 40 in Pulaski and Lonoke counties in Arkansas came to a standstill Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, because of a chain reaction of vehicle crashes caused by ice- and snow-covered roads. (Screenshot via Arkansas Department of Transportation)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Unseasonably low temperatures and a second wave of winter storms have created hazardous travel conditions throughout Arkansas, according to iDriveArkansas.com, the traveler-information site managed by the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT). State and local authorities are asking nonessential travelers to stay off the roads.

Portions of Interstate 40 in eastern Pulaski and western Lonoke counties were closed Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 17, because of accidents caused by road conditions.

According social-media posts by the Arkansas State Police, one of the earliest accidents — part of a chain reaction of multiple crashes along I-40 — occurred about 9 a.m. when a commercial truck jackknifed, striking the rear of an Arkansas State Police (ASP) patrol car driven by Sgt. Chuck Lewis of the ASP.

AR State Police Car
One of the earliest accidents causing the chain reaction of crashes occurred when a commercial truck jackknifed and struck the rear of an Arkansas State Police patrol car driven by Sgt. Chuck Lewis. Neither driver was seriously injured. (Courtesy: Arkansas State Police via Facebook)

Lewis, a 25-year veteran of the force, was attempting to warn westbound vehicles on I-40 of congested traffic due to a non-injury crash near Lonoke. Despite ice- and snow-covered roads, oncoming traffic was moving at speeds of 50 to 60 mph.

Joe A. Barbosa, 54, of San Antonio, Texas, the driver of a tractor-trailer truck approaching the area, lost control of his vehicle as he began to brake, causing the trailer to jackknife and strike the rear of the patrol car occupied by Lewis. The state police patrol car was spun into the tree line north of the interstate; Lewis was not seriously injured.

Barbosa regained control of the truck and trailer but left the scene of the crash. He was later apprehended in the North Little Rock area where he was charged with careless and prohibited driving and leaving the scene of a property-damage crash. Barbosa, who was not injured in the crash, was released pending a Lonoke County court date to answer the charges.

A chain of crashes caused by those first two accidents stretched more than 30 miles east of the initial crash scene.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. So that’s reason enough to leave people sit in their cars all fucking night on interstate.?.!.?
    It’s just Horribly Amazing how fucking ignorant people are, how bad America has dumbed down over the years.

  2. And yes I agree, the True Truck Driver is a thing of the past, most of these modern day steering wheel holders have no business behind the wheel, accident waiting to happen, but why would you sit in the path of an 80,000 lb vehicle on snow and ice packed roads and assume the dumbass can stop.?.!.? Because you’re wearing a badge? Or the pretty lights on the car.?.!.?
    Common Sense is a Long Forgotten Characteristic as well.

  3. I’ve been driving a truck for 39 years, this guy and people like him do not need to be driving a 18 wheeler, probably not even a car, ridiculous, no excuse, no injuries this time what about the next time, that trooper could have been seriously injured or killed, driver doesn’t stop, unacceptable !!!!

  4. Most of You truckers do not even pull over or slow down for my emergency vehicle with flashing amber lights.

    Not slow down to speed limit slow down below speed limit and pass me while I am changing a flat tire for an elderly man or woman.

    I pray every day I can come home without losing my life since you trucker play a game how close you can drive next to my emergency cones.

  5. I had 5.5million safe miles in 41 years most drivers now are wheel holders and don’t care companies are just filling seats a crying shame truck driving has come to this

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