CRAWFORD COUNTY (KFSM) — One person died and an Arkansas State Police trooper was injured during the early morning hours of Monday (Aug. 8) following a head-on collision on Interstate 40 near the interchange between Van Buren and Alma, according to state police.
Matthew Choate, 24, of Fort Smith was killed when the vehicle he was driving collided with Arkansas State Trooper Roy Moomey’s vehicle at around 3:40 a.m., according to Arkansas State Police.
Moomey was trapped inside his vehicle for nearly an hour, ASP said. Once first responders were able to free him with the jaws of life, he was taken by ambulance to an area hospital.
A state trooper on scene said Moomey tried to block the other vehicle as it was heading the wrong way on the interstate. That was when the vehicles collided.
Marc McCune, Crawford County prosecuting attorney, said Moomey was expected to make a full recovery.
McCune also said the driver of the other vehicle was intoxicated.
ASP Public Information Officer Bill Sadler said toxicology tests for Choate had not yet come back from the State Crime Lab, so ASP could not officially confirm whether Choate was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
UPDATE: According to McCune on Tuesday (Aug. 9), Moomey was out of surgery and everything went well. “Rod in leg and wrist pinned. They will deal with ankle later. It will be a long recovery. Keep the prayers coming.”
Trooper Roy was released from the ICU and started rehab on Monday (Aug. 15). He was moved to a chair, where he was able to sit for an hour.