Crash kills 4, injures 3 near Berryville

By  | 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) - Four people are dead and three were fighting for their lives on Wednesday after a head-on wreck near Berryville. The crash happened on Sunday, and now we’re learning more about what caused the collision.

Arkansas State Police say three children were in one car involved in the crash, and police say none of them was wearing a seat belt. One child died. Police say the other two children are in a hospital in Springfield in critical condition.

All seven people involved in the wreck are from Berryville. The wreck happened a few miles east of that city on U.S. 62.

“Tough time for the community,” said John White, who lives right down the street from Jack and Ethel Rogers. “It’s unbelievable."

Shortly after noon Sunday, police say, Jack Rogers was driving his pickup west on U.S. 62 when a car hit him head on. His wife, Ethel was in the passenger seat.

“Jack was killed at the scene, and Ethel was Lifelined (taken by air ambulance to a hospital),” said White.

White says the car that hit them was carrying three generations: a grandmother, a mother, and her three kids. Police say Benita Langinbelik was driving, and Newoj Bokjen was in the passenger's seat.

“It was a bad accident. The mother, her mother, and the baby died,” White said.

He says he believes the Rogerses were on their way home from church.

“They were going west, and Jack was coming east from Green Forest, back home, and the children were acting up, and the mother turned around, to mess with the kids and hit Jack and Ethel head on,” White said.

White took us to U.S. 62 to show us exactly where it happened.

“You can see the conditions of the road. There’s not a skid mark on either side. I guess it happened so fast that no one hit a brake or anything. Not a skid mark on either side. And this is a pretty dangerous little area,” he said.

Workers are in the process of turning the two-lane highway into four lanes. He says this construction zone is hazardous.

“You can see how fast the traffic’s driving… and how much room you got. It’s kind of a bad place,” he said.

He says he hopes drivers start taking it slower before there’s another wreck. He also says he hopes the children who survived, and his neighbor Ethel, are able to recover after the deadly wreck.

“How do you?” he asked, “I mean, it’s a tragedy, you know? Yeah, they were good people.”

Police say Ethel Rogers is still in the hospital in Arkansas, listed in critical condition. White says she’s not doing well, because she’s 70 years old and, shortly before the crash, she recovered from a hip replacement. White says she has a daughter in Berryville to care for her.

An investigator with the Arkansas State Police says the Carroll County prosecuting attorney is reviewing this case, but it’s not likely that charges will be filed since both drivers were killed in the wreck.