Driver sen­tenced for flee­ing fa­tal­ity

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - STEVEN MROSS

HOT SPRINGS — A man has been sen­tenced to six years’ pro­ba­tion and 120 days in jail for flee­ing the scene af­ter fa­tally in­jur­ing a pedes­trian last year while driv­ing.

Bran­don Neal Har­ris, 36, of Hot Springs had pleaded guilty July 24 in Gar­land County Cir­cuit Court to leav­ing the scene of an accident in­volv­ing in­jury or death, a felony pun­ish­able by up to six years in prison.

Ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit, shortly af­ter 2 a.m. July 30, 2016, state po­lice Cpl. Michael Reed re­sponded to the scene where a pedes­trian, iden­ti­fied as Ron­nie Dale Fletcher, 64, was struck by a ve­hi­cle on Air­port Road near Mar­ion An­der­son Road.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined a ve­hi­cle was east­bound on Air­port Road when it struck Fletcher, who was stand­ing in the east­bound lanes. The driver con­tin­ued driv­ing east af­ter his ve­hi­cle hit Fletcher, but state po­lice de­ter­mined the ve­hi­cle would have sus­tained dam­age to its front and left front.

Fletcher was killed on im­pact and his body came to rest in the turn lane of Air­port Road, the af­fi­davit said. He was pro­nounced dead by Gar­land County Deputy Coro­ner Ryan Hamil­ton.

State Po­lice Special Agent Russ Rhodes in­ves­ti­gated and lo­cated a part num­ber from the back of a piece of the ve­hi­cle. He de­ter­mined the ve­hi­cle was a 2004 or 2005 Toy­ota RAV4 and ob­tained a list of such ve­hi­cles in Gar­land County from the Arkansas Crime In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter.

Troop­ers went to each listed ad­dress to in­spect the ve­hi­cles for dam­ages con­sis­tent with the wreck.

At 6:40 p.m. July 30, Reed lo­cated Har­ris’ ve­hi­cle, which was on the list, at 409 Ryan Road in Pearcy. Har­ris ad­mit­ted his ve­hi­cle was in­volved in the hit-and-run wreck and that he was driv­ing, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

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