Passenger injured in Oct. 30 trolley accident on Van Buren

Thursday, November 18, 2021
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A passenger on a Eureka Springs city trolley was transported to the hospital and a local woman was arrested after a traffic accident on Oct. 30, according to a police report.

The report, which was released Tuesday morning — more than two weeks after the accident occurred — says the city trolley driven by Eric Evans was traveling westbound on West Van Buren just after 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, when a 2012 Jeep Liberty driven by Penelope Walker of Eureka Springs failed to yield and pulled out in front of the trolley. The trolley, carrying the driver and 10 passengers, struck the left front fender of wheel of Walker’s vehicle, according to the report.

A Green Forest woman and her daughter had non-life threatening injuries from the impact inside the trolley, the report says, and the woman was transported to Eureka Springs Hospital.

The Jeep was removed from the roadway after officers arrived and later towed from the scene, according to the report, while the trolley had “functional damage” to the front bumper but was able to be driven.

ESPD Sgt. Billy Floyd, who initially responded to the scene, “could smell the odor of intoxicants on Walker’s breath as she spoke,” the report says, and Walker said she had consumed a small amount of alcohol. Floyd then asked ESPD Cpl. Tim Holm to conduct field sobriety tests on Walker.

After administering three separate field sobriety tests to Walker, Holm administered a preliminary breath test with Walker’s consent and the results indicated a blood alcohol content of .08 percent at approximately 8:30 p.m., the report says. Walker was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated and transported to the Eureka Springs Police Department, according to the report, where she agreed to provide a breath sample that showed a blood alcohol content of .06 percent.

A representative with the Eureka Springs Police Department said on the morning of Nov. 1 that no one was available to talk about the accident and a report should be available by Nov. 3. When asked on Nov. 1 if he could shed light on the accident, transit director Ken “Smitty” Smith said, “No, not at the moment.”

“It’s a continuing police investigation,” Smith said. “Maybe call back in a couple of days. The police are still investigating it, so I can’t talk about it.”

Mayor Butch Berry said on Nov. 1 that he had no knowledge of the accident.

“No, I had not heard anything,” Berry said.

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