A Gamaliel, Ark., man lost his life while traveling along Highway 62 in Fulton County Oct. 21.
Hurshel Bentley, 57, was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle two miles west of Sturkie Road, causing a 4-vehicle collision that injured another man in the process, according to the official report filed by Arkansas State Trooper Ronnie Stewart.
The report said at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Sunday Bentley was west bound on his 2005 Suzuki motorcycle when he crossed the center line in an attempt to negotiate a curve, striking a Chevy Tahoe traveling in the opposite lane head on.
Upon impact with the Tahoe, driven by Franklin Lack of Kennett, Mo., Bentley was thrown from his motorcycle into the west bound lane where he was struck by a Ford Escape driven by Johnny Clayton of Viola, Stewart said.
He said the fourth vehicle driven by Gary Arwood of Mountain Home, was also west bound when he struck Bentley's motorcycle which was in the west bound lane.
Bentley was first transported to the Baxter Regional Medical Center by Fulton County Ambulance before being transported by Air Evac to a Springfield, Mo., hospital where he died from injuries sustained in the wreck.
Lack was transported by ambulance to the Fulton County Hospital. As of press time his condition was unknown.
According to an October 2007 report issued by the Insurance Information Institute, the number of motorcycle fatalities has steadily risen each year for nine years in a row.
"Motorcycle fatalities nationwide have surged to their highest levels since 1987, even as overall highway deaths continue to decline," said a recent USA?Today article.
In the past six months alone, motorcycle wrecks have claimed the life of four residents of the tri-county area.
May 25 14-year-old Adam French of Cherokee Village was killed when the motorcycle he was driving ran into the side of a UPS vehicle.
June 2 Zachary Kunz, 18, a May 2007 graduate of Viola High School, was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle while swerving to miss a deer, according to authorities.
Most recently, Gary and Charlotte Arnold of Cherokee Village were killed Oct. 8 when their motorcycle collided with a vehicle while turning at an intersection.