Dawson Whitmire, Randy Burkes Killed in Crash on US-167 in Grant County, AR
Grant County, AR — January 6, 2023, 27-year-old Dawson Whitmire and 61-year-old Randy Burkes died in an auto accident on U.S. Highway 167 in Grant County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 3:25 a.m. along Route 167 near County Road 167036. Preliminary investigation suggests 32-year-old Blake Wimberly was driving a Dodge Ram pickup south on the highway when he allegedly crossed over the center line. After entering the oncoming lane the pickup crashed head-on with a northbound Dodge Promaster van.
Pickup passenger Dawson Whitmire and van driver Randy Burkes were fatally injured in the collision. Wimberly was reportedly uninjured but it's unclear how.
The accident remains under investigation. No further information is currently available.
On its surface this crash appears to be a simple matter of a vehicle crossing over the center line and triggering a collision. Maybe things really boil down to that, but I think most would agree that people rarely cross left of center for no reason--so why exactly did it happen in Grant County?
There are many possible explanations for that, but it's really not my place to list or speculate about them. Two men lost their lives, though, and it's clearly important for investigators to find the real reason for that. Perhaps things begin and end with a momentary but costly mistake, but if there's more to the story it wouldn't be right to let it slip through the cracks. The folks who lost loved ones on Highway 167 deserve the whole truth, so I hope authorities will take the needed time and care to find it.