Arkansas court rules driver wasn’t negligent in fatal crash


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled a driver
wasn’t criminally negligent when his pickup truck crashed into another vehicle, killing a family of four.

The court’s majority determined Thursday there’s no evidence Benjamin Ward
Ledwell was speeding, driving erratically, under the influence of alcohol or using a phone during the crash in 2015.

Ledwell, of Texarkana, collided with a minivan in an opposite lane of Arkansas Highway 7, killing Cindy and Allen Rhein and their two children, Steven and Anthony Sprankle.

A jury convicted Ledwell in 2018 on four counts of negligent homicide and
handed him a suspended sentence.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the high court decided 4-3 to
overturn Ledwell’s convictions.

A dissenting opinion said Ledwell was driving erratically and his
convictions should be upheld.

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