Jogger Hit By SUV And Killed Near Prairie Grove Identified; Driver Cited

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PRAIRIE GROVE (KFSM) - The driver whose Jeep Cherokee hit and killed a  jogger on Tuesday (July 15) near Prairie Grove has been cited, police said.

Jason Purvis, 35, of Prairie Grove was cited on suspicion of negligent homicide, reckless driving and driving right of roadway, said Capt. Jeff O'Brien of the Prairie Grove Police Department.

The victim, Deborah Hildebrand, 46, was struck and killed while on a routine run near her home.

"She typically jogs in the morning and jogs down to the Illinois River Bridge and jogs back to her home," O'Brien said. "It's not often that somebody has been killed, especially in Prairie Grove. I can't remember the last time we've had a vehicle-pedestrian accident."

The accident happened at the intersection of U.S. 62 and Little Elm Road near Prairie Grove around 7:45 a.m., police said.

The jogger was running eastbound when a Jeep Cherokee, traveling westbound, veered across the shoulder line and struck the victim.

"He crossed the white line on the shoulder, and he struck a  female who we have identified as Deborah Hildebrand. She was on the westbound shoulder and was jogging eastbound when the vehicle struck her," O'Brien said.

The Prairie Grove Fire and police departments responded.

"When we arrived on scene, Central EMS had arrived just before we did," O'Brien said. "They quickly attended to the female, and it was determined that she was killed as a result of the accident. The Washington County Coroner's Office was notified. They came out and did their investigation as well."

O'Brien said Purvis was treated at the site and did not suffer any major injuries.

"We did take him to the hospital as with any investigation just to do our part of the investigation work," he said. "That requires that we take blood tests and take other tests to determine if there was any intoxication. All of that information is still pending the results."

Family members said Hildebrand graduated from the University of Arkansas and was working for Hilde Manufacturing, a family business. She leaves behind a husband and a five-year-old daughter.

Purvis is set to appear in Prairie Grove District Court August 5 at 8:30 a.m.



  • bobreal

    Bet the Driver was either PLAYING WITH HIS COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE or HIS CAR RADIO or BOTH??? They need to Put Him in Jail for 5yrs and REVOLK HIS DL FOR LIFE.

    • danicalove

      Easy executioner Bob-while this is an emotional situation and some are quick to spew hatred, anger blaming the driver, she was in fact jogging on an extremely busy thoroughfare in the prime of morning rush hour traffic. I don’t know about you, but some of us were taught to never allow yourself to be on the shoulder of any busy highway unless it’s an emergency. I see people jogging all around the country on major freeway shoulders and busy city streets. They’re not exactly on the sidewalks, but rather, on the shoulders near the roadway. Fact is, despite the convenience of running against oncoming traffic, you’re still putting yourself at risk by being that close to a busy heavy volume traffic lane. I’ve seen debris hit runners, including hubcaps. I live less than a mile from that very accident location. It’s dangerous to be on the shoulder, no matter your business. Let’s let the fine PGPD do their investigation, including waiting on the toxicology reports regarding the cited driver. It’s easy to veer off the shoulder no matter if you’re distracted or not. Your quick wittedness to punish someone is archaic and rather primitive. No good hearted human, until a thorough investigation has been completed, should pass judgment that quickly. I’m disappointed in your quick prejudicial reaction. If he is indeed under the influence, her family will have a right to civilly sue if he’s not charged criminally. I do commend you for bringing attention to distracting devices though.

  • tc

    A very sad report. My heart goes out to the victim, her family and friends. This incident touches a much larger family too. Running in NWA for over 30 years, on rare but multiple occasions, I’ve encountered drivers who will intentionally swerve toward me. At best, this is a tragic accident. At worst, manslaughter or murder.

  • kelly

    This is so sad. I used to jog and ride my bike a lot, but some people can be so rude. This poor lady paid with her life for someone’s carelessness. They will do nothing to him, he will claim the sun was blinding him, or s bird flew into his windshield, or a bee flew into his car and stung him, or what every the lawyers make up for him.
    I have had beer bottles thrown at me, I have had cars intentionally swerve at me and some unintentionally almost kill me. I stopped jogging when a friend of mine was run over and killed in a crash near Hog Eye.
    Driving a car is a huge responsibility and this guy must pay.

    • BJM

      The only way the sun could have been blinding him was if the sun were rising in the west. Your experiences with jogging and bike riding are true. I’ve had people swerving to aim at me and throwing things at me, too. That’s why I try not to do those things where there is a lot of traffic.

  • Hondo

    We all know someone who is an avid jogger. This could happen to anyone. Not sure what is involved here. The story says the driver has been cited. Did they perform a sobriety test? I feel for the family of this woman. Prayers to them.

  • Allen Henderson

    Very tragic for her, family, and friends but before yall throw this guy under the jail, people have no business running on the shoulder of the road I personally have come close to hitting joggers and cyclists because there will be a reason I need to get over for the runner and couldn’t fortunately I have not I could not ever get over hurting someone but I think before people start trying to crucify this young man there needs to be more facts other than what is posted in this story

    • HL

      People behind the wheel of a vehicle have no business veering off the roadway, either. This guy could have just as easily veered the other way, into the other lane, and hit another driver head on. Who would you be blaming, then? The other driver, driving too close to the center line?

  • Hondo

    I hate to say it, but it is a wonder we do not see more of this. There are joggers, and people on bicycles. If you lose attention look out.

  • Hoss

    Bottom Line: Joggers/Bikers take a huge risk jogging or biking on the side of a busy road. The risk of death is highly elevated. If you want to take that risk go ahead. There is NO way I will do something in which routine human error has an elevated chance of killing me. There are so many reasons besides texting or tuning in which a jogger/biker can be killed. How many times has a parent had to reach back and attend to a child? How many times has a spider jumped in a driver’s lap? How many times has a driver had to swerve to miss an object in the road? How many times has a driver had to look away because someone honked at them? How many times do driver’s look in the mirrors? And if anyone on here can say they have their eyes on the road 100% of the time and have NEVER taken them off then I am calling them a liar. We are human and will make mistakes and it is crazy to get out on a busy road and jog or bike. I can think of a thousand different ways to exercise that are safer. But like I mentioned, we all have the right to do it so if you want to do it, do it but realize the chances of death are greatly elevated and it will NEVER change. Running on a busy highway= 35% chance of death. Running in your own neighborhood or a trail =.00035% chance of death in my opinion. Accordingly, I agree with the punishment that this driver deserves as decided by the courts. It is the drivers fault, my whole gist is to save more lives of joggers and bikers.

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