TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — A volunteer firefighter who stopped to help motorists after a series of chain-reaction collisions on a foggy interstate in the southwest corner of Arkansas was among three people killed in the wrecks, state police said Thursday.
Terry Bailey, 54, was killed when he was struck by a vehicle on the southbound lane of Interstate 49 near Fouke late Monday, police said in a crash report. He was a volunteer firefighter in Huntington, about 175 miles north of the crash site.
Police said drivers of two other vehicles in the southbound lane were also killed, 38-year-old Johnie Patterson and 53-year-old Dennis Hyman, both of Fouke.
Huntington Mayor Gary Lawrence, also a volunteer firefighter, said Bailey was driving freight on his normal route between Fort Smith and Shreveport, Louisiana, when the initial accident occurred. He said he wasn’t surprised to learn that his friend apparently stopped to help.
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“Volunteers, we’re all trained on how to handle accidents and all this stuff. All of us, when we see things like that, our instincts kick in,” Lawrence said.
“He was a great guy to be around. Here at the department, anything that needed to be done, he was willing to chip in and help. He didn’t do it for attention, or the glory of the job. He did it for his community and because he loved people,” he added.
Lawrence said Bailey had volunteered for the department for more than a decade.