Arkansas authorities say two teenagers were hit and killed by a truck on the side of an Arkansas highway, after they stopped to help a Tulsa woman with her flat tire. It happened Wednesday afternoon on US Highway 412 not far from the Oklahoma border.
News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says it was in the middle of the day and Dawn Pierce of Tulsa had pulled off on the shoulder of Highway 412. But somehow, police say a pickup truck hit the 17-year-old boy and girl who had stopped to help her. "They were standing on the side and all of a sudden I hear, boom. And they were airborne and they landed in front of the Jeep up there. I went up to check on them, I didn't get a pulse, I tried CPR on both of them, I didn't get nothing."
Pierce told reporters that her own 15-year-old daughter was busy removing the lug nuts from the wheel, while the two teenage victims were trying to divert traffic away from the stopped car.
"The best thing you can do is get your vehicle as far off the road as possible." Even if you do everything right, Lt. Kevin Robison with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the highway is dangerous. "If you just watch traffic driving normally, you see people all the time drifting over on the shoulder." Lt. Robison says if the ground is flat and dry, move half your vehicle off the highway completely. Try to avoid stopping on curves or hills that cause blind spots for approaching vehicles. And he says if they have the manpower, they can help. "If you would feel better with one of us behind you with our lights on or TPD or the Sheriff's Office, whatever, y'know, don't hesitate to call. If there's a unit available, that's what we do."
Sadly, Pierce says that's just what the two young Good Samaritans were trying to do. "All they did was stop and try to help us with a flat tire."
The two teenagers who were killed were Christopher Welch and Kimberly Benck, both of Siloam Springs.
Arkansas State Police say charges are pending against 64-year-old David Orman of West Fork, the driver of the pickup truck.
[picture courtesy of KFSM-TV]