Arkansas Dad Warns Others of ‘Hill Jumping’ Dangers

SALINE COUNTY, AR — It’s called hill jumping. Teens do it for fun by speeding over a hill, and going airborne. But, in the past couple years, it’s turned deadly in Saline County and one father is stepping up to make changes.

This week, Ted Melton gave blood in a drive organized in honor of his daughter, Drew, who died in 2012.

Along with raising awareness on donating the gift of life, Melton also talked about how he’s working with Benton Police to prevent another hill jumping tragedy.

His daughter was the only one in the car, at the time of the incident, who didn’t survive.

He said, “There were five kids in the car, there was nothing left of the car, nothing.”

The accident happened, just north of Benton on Springhill Road in 2012. Two years later, a similar tragedy in Saline County happened. 18-year-old Tylor Wright also died in a hill jumping accident, on Midland Road. Melton says he’s all too familiar with the pain of losing a child.

He said, “You don’t know these people, but you’re just at a place and time with them. You know what they’re going through immediately.”

So now, Melton is working with the Benton Police Department on an educational program. A resource officer would go into local public schools and talk to kids about the deadly dangers of hill jumping.

Melton said, “Just letting these kids know that one bad choice, and a snap of a finger, it’s just…it changes everything.”

Melton says he’s not sure if the program would’ve saved his daughter Drew, but he says it may have and that’s all he needs to know to support it.

He said, “But if it helps even one kid make a good choice, I think there is great value in that.”

Both students killed in those accidents went to Benton High School.

Melton says the program has been postponed due to weather, but he expects it will take place before the end of the school year.

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