A Cherokee Village man is dead after his motorcycle rear ended a small truck in a fiery crash Sept. 9 on Highway 62/412 in Highland.
The accident occurred shortly after noon just west of the south entrance to Cherokee Village near St. Michael's Catholic Church when the Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Eric Watts, 38, rear ended a small truck that was stopped in the road attempting to turn into Route 62 Auto Sales, said Cpl. Wendall Jines with the Arkansas State Police.
"He was driving pretty fast through there, from what we can tell," said Jines who was off duty and drove up on the accident. "It looks like he (Watts) just ran up on him and sideswiped him.When he hit the truck it punctured the gas tank and it blew up."
"It threw him off the bike and he and the bike both caught fire and skidded across the road," said Billy Myers, the manager of Route 62 Auto Sales who said he saw the accident unfold from the window of the business.
Watts' body was still smoldering as paramedics lifted him from the shoulder of the highway and put the gurney into the ambulance. Watts was still breathing when he left the scene; however, Jines said he died at Eastern Ozarks Regional Health System a short time later. He was pronounced dead at 12:35 p.m.
John Hall of Viola, the driver of the truck, and his two passengers, his wife, Sharla, and his 2-year-old daughter, were uninjured in the accident. The truck was damaged in the accident.
"We didn't see it coming," said Sharla Hall. "We just felt the hit and I looked out my window and it was just a big ball of flames."
Watts was not wearing a helmet.
Spring River Ambulance Service, Highland/Hidden Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Highland Police, Sharp County Sheriff's Department, and the Arkansas State Police assisted in the accident.