Bentonville Man Faces DWI, Negligent Homicide Charges After Deadly Wreck

William Ray Schmidt

ROGERS (KFSM) — A Bentonville man is facing negligent homicide and DWI charges after a deadly wreck in Rogers early Sunday.

William Ray Schmidt, 35, of Bentonville left an event at the City Pump on Walnut Street in Rogers in his BMW, Rogers Police said. Several witnesses said Schmidt had pulled into the parking lot at Somewhere in Time at 719 W. Walnut and was heard arguing over the phone with someone. The witnesses said Schmidt then backed out of the parking lot and quickly sped down West Walnut Street westbound, entering the intersection on a red light, police said.

The BMW struck a brown Chevrolet S-10 pickup driven by Jerry Jackson, 44, of Siloam Springs, police said. The BMW “t-boned” the pickup on the driver’s side, pinning Jackson in the pickup. Jackson was extricated from the vehicle and didn’t have a pulse by the time he was pulled out. He was taken to Mercy Hospital in Rogers, where he was later pronounced dead, police said.

Schmidt admitted to officers than he had been drinking that night and had had “four beers.” He failed a field sobriety test and was arrested on scene, police said. He was later taken to the police station, where police conducted a breath analyzer test. Schmidt blew a 0.19 on the breath test, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, police said.

Schmidt was taken to the Benton County Detention Center, where he was being held on a surety bond of $20,000 on charges of felony negligent homicide and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, as well as disobeying a traffic control device. He is scheduled to be in court July 9.