BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KFSM) — The brother of the man hit and killed in a collision in Benton County came forward with a message to the suspected drunk driver on Friday (Aug. 23).
Timothy Schwellinger's brother Ricky Schwellinger was hit by a vehicle while changing his tire on the side of I-49 Wednesday (Aug. 21) night. Ricky Schwellinger later died from his injuries.
"This is the consequences that happen to people for the decisions you make," Timothy Schwellinger said. "Now that person is going to have to live with this on his conscious for what he has done."
Timothy Schwellinger said his brother recently moved to the area for a second lease on life. Ricky Schwellinger had been living on the streets in California before returning to Arkansas. Timothy Schwellinger said he and his brother lost contact over time, but they were always close.
"I was close with my brother," Timothy Schwellinger said. "I mean what brothers aren't really close together. I mean it has been a while since I've seen him, but I kept contact with him all the time. He found God, became married, and became a dad. He loved his kids."
Timothy Schwellinger says Ricky's second lease was cut short after a stranger made the decision to get behind the wheel.
"Numerous times you tell yourself 'oh I've only had one drink it won't affect me,' but one drink is all it takes," Timothy Schwellinger said.
Ricky called a friend to help change his tire on I-49 just north of Lowell. Moments later according to police Rickey Schwellinger was hit by a 2015 Dodge truck. Police said the vehicle veered off the roadway.
The suspected driver of the truck was 31-year-old Randy Perea. Officers said he ran from the scene, but was later arrested. A breathalyzer test showed Perea had a blood-alcohol content of 0.11. The results came nearly three hours after the collision.
Timothy Schwellinger said he hopes people can learn from what has happened to his family.
"I mean it is hard and people have just got to understand," Timothy Schwellinger said. "If you are drinking, don't drive. Like everyone says there is all kinds of things out there like Uber and taxis. Don't be out driving while you are drunk."