A report of a possible hit-and-run accident early Sunday morning on Interstate 530 led to the arrest of two men after the vehicle involved in the accident was allegedly found to have been reported stolen.
Zachery Russell, 32, was found asleep in the driver’s seat of the vehicle by Arkansas State Trooper Jerome Sanders when Sanders responded to the accident at 1:41 a.m. at mile marker 44.
Sanders said in a probable cause affidavit that Russell told him he had been hit head on by another vehicle while traveling southbound, knocking the vehicle was driving into the ditch. Russell said another man, Anthony Whitt, 45, left walking after the accident.
Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer said officers later determined that the vehicle, a van, had allegedly been stolen from a rehabilitation facility where both Russell and Whitt were receiving treatment.
Sanders said in the affidavit an ambulance was called for Russell, who complained of pains, and he was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center. While Sanders was there, he received a call about a second man who was walking on the interstate and went back to mile marker 44 where he located Whitt, who was allegedly intoxicated.
Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $5,000 bond each for Russell and Whitt after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge them with theft of property.
The two were also charged with several misdemeanor offenses, and the Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent them.