At around 9:15 p.m., Ronnie and Carol McCorkle, of Hope, were driving east on Highway 67 when they drove into a mixture of heavy fog and smoke from a smoldering house fire which had settled along the ground. Ronnie said he slowed down due to poor visibility. As they were passing in front of the Red River Truck Stop, the McCorkles’ Dodge Ram came to a sudden and hard stop as the crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer which belongs to G&S Transportation out of Memphis, TN. The Ram’s airbags failed to go off on impact and, according to law enforcement, the safety belts didn’t engage to restrain the McCorkles as they were supposed to.
The driver of the Freightliner that was pulling the trailer the McCorkles crashed into was identified as Thomas Fullwiley of Memphis. Fullwilley said when he got into Fulton, he encountered the smoke and fog and could not see anything in front of his truck and came to a stop rather than continue driving blind. Fullwiley said there were a few other cars stopped also. Fullwiley said he turned on his hazard lights and exited the truck and began speaking with some of the other drivers when he saw approaching headlights from the McCorkles’ truck. Ronnie McCorkle said he did not see the lights on the trailer until after he crashed into it and came to a stop. Fullwiley approached the McCorkles and checked to see if they were ok.
Deputies from the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, Trooper Henley and Pafford EMS were dispatched to the crash.
Deputies directed traffic through the scene while Trooper Henley conducted his investigation and Pafford tended to Carol McCorkle’s injuries. Carol was transported to Texarkana. Ronnie was not injured in the crash.
No citations were issued at the time of the crash.