Atkins Police Officer Killed in Accident

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An Atkins Police officer died late Thursday (Aug. 29) from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle accident on his way to work, according to police.

Patrolman Dolphus Schmelzla, 47, of Russellville, was driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle on U.S. Highway 64 near Russellville when the accident occurred around 8:45 p.m.

A Lincoln, driven by a 19-year-old man, was turning left on the highway when he struck the motorcycle, according to police.

Schmelzla had more than 20 years of law enforcement experience. He began his career in Yell County at the Sheriff’s Office before taking jobs with the Ola and Morrilton Police Departments.

He’d been with the Atkins Police Department since March 2001, according to a statement from the Pope County Sheriff’s Office.

An account has been established at the River Town Bank for the family of Officer Schmelzla. Anyone wishing to donate can do so by contacting any branch of River Town Bank and referencing account number 1405543. All donations are tax deductible. In order to receive the 501C receipt for the tax deduction, you may contact Sam Keller with the Southern States Police Benevolence Foundation at 501-733-8250.