Fayetteville Man Arrested After Fleeing Fatal Accident, Claimed Car Was Stolen

Jemal Gardner

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — A man has been arrested after fleeing from a car crash that killed one person.

According to a police report, Fayetteville officers responded to an accident Oct. 5 on Huntsville Road, where a vehicle crossed over the center line and struck another vehicle head-on.

The victim in the other vehicle suffered bone fractures during the accident and died a week and a half later (Oct. 16) while recovering at a rehabilitation facility. According to the police report, the victim’s cause of death was determined to be a direct complication of the injuries suffered during the accident.

The victim’s identity has not been released to the public at this time.

Witnesses say the driver fled the scene after the accident.

Police found that the vehicle that caused the accident was registered to Jemal Gardner, 32.

Two days later, on Oct. 7, Gardner reported his vehicle as stolen.

According to a police report, Gardner was contacted outside of a Fayetteville hotel on Oct. 5 and told officers that he was out of town and loaned the vehicle to a friend. He said he knew nothing about the accident or the details of the friend who he let borrow his car.

He said that his friend parked the car at a Fayetteville park on Oct. 5 and came back for it the next day (Oct. 6), but it was missing.

After an investigation, officers found electronic data that disputed Gardner’s claims of being out of town during the accident. The data places Gardner in the area of the crash.

Video surveillance shows Gardner with his vehicle about three hours before the accident, according to police.

Gardner’s appearance matches the witnesses’ description of the driver who fled the scene.

His driver’s license was suspended at the time of the accident.

The friend who Gardner claimed borrowed his car told police it was not parked at the park and had not been stolen.

Gardner was arrested on Tuesday (Oct. 5) and charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident, reckless driving, filing a false police report, and driving with a suspended driver’s license.

He is currently at the Washington County Detention Center on a $5,500 bond.

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