• October 13, 2022

Kellum Kepfner Killed in Crash with Semi-Truck on Hwy 87 in Independence County, AR

Independence County, AR — October 12, 2022, 41-year-old Kellum Kepfner died in a crash with a tractor-trailer on State Highway 87 in rural Independence County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:20 p.m. on Highway 87 at Floral Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a Freightliner 18-wheeler was northbound on the highway when the driver tried to make a left turn into a nearby private drive. Kepfner, northbound behind the big rig, allegedly tried to pass the truck on the left as it turned and his Honda crashed into the it.

Kepfner suffered fatal injuries in the collision. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Kellum Kepfner Accident in Independence County

Preliminary reports suggests this wreck may have been triggered by an ill-timed passing maneuver, but the years have taught me to take early police findings with a grain or two of salt. There's virtually no chance that investigators have considered all the potential variables here.

For instance, I find it a little hard to believe that someone would try to pass another vehicle on the left if they had ample clear warning that the vehicle would be turning into their path. With that in mind, I wonder if the truck driver used his turn signal--and if so, how long before turning he activated it. Also, is it possible that officer's theories about the passing attempt are mistaken? Could the victim have been forced to swerve left because the truck ahead of him suddenly braked near the private drive?

Kellum Kepfner Killed in Independence County, AR Crash with Semi-Truck

I know those questions sound like I want the truck driver to be the "bad guy" here, but I'm not accusing him of anything. The situations I mentioned are just a couple of possibilities to consider, along with many others. The most important thing is to find clear evidence that tells the whole story, and yet I'm concerned that police--having found a plausible explanation--won't dig much deeper. Would independent investigation on behalf of the victim's family turn up more answers?

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