Report: Family Says Man Who Drove Into Trooper Had Been Depressed

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VAN BUREN (KFSM) -- The Crawford County Prosecutor's office released dash cam video and the case file from the crash that injured Arkansas State Trooper Roy Moomey's and killed Matthew Choate.

In the early morning hours of Aug. 8, 2016, the case file states trooper Moomey was helping the Van Buren Police Department with several reports of vehicle break-ins. Moments later Moomey got a call from Arkansas State Police dispatch to check on a driver going the wrong way on Interstate 40 near Alma.

According to the documents, eight 911  calls came in. One call stated the driver of a red car, which was later identified as Matthew Choate, made a U-turn on the interstate and started driving the wrong way.

In the released dash cam video you can see headlights from Choate's vehicle as the trooper approached. You can also see the trooper move into the right line, which was mirrored by the oncoming vehicle. The trooper then moves to the right and once again the vehicle in front of him moves in the same direction. Documents say that is when the two collided.

Moomey's patrol car hood was peeled back so he could be removed and taken to a hospital. Choate was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Crawford County Prosecutor has cleared Moomey and determined he was not at fault in the collision.

Also in the documents, investigators interviewed several of Choate's friends and relatives in an effort to determine his actions before the accident. People told investigators that Chaote had been at a bar on Garrison Avenue hours before. They also told investigators he dropped off a friend after and drove away alone.

Family and friends are quoted telling investigators that Choate had suffered from depression in the past but seemed in good spirits the day of the crash.

A toxicology report stated Choate had marijuana in his system but no trace of other drugs or alcohol were found.

1 Comment

  • Kim Kidder

    So – why did police and the prosecutor report him as a drunk driver? Why is this okay? Why is this error and the defamation of character caused by their actions not news?

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