Decatur officers hurt in Benton County crash, one flown to Missouri hospital

Northwest Arkansas News

DECATUR, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Multiple emergency agencies responded to a crash Wednesday night that sent two Decatur police officers to the hospital.

Decatur Police Chief Steven Grizzle said the crash happened just before 10:30 p.m. when two Decatur officers were headed north on Highway 59 towards Gravette to serve an arrest warrant.

Courtesy: Decatur Police Department

The crash happened just north of Spavinaw Creek near the “Gravette hill,” Decatur Mayor Bob Tharp said.

Grizzle said the officers lost control and crashed with a pickup truck. At this time, Grizzle could not provide many details about the crash but said the two officers were riding together in one police cruiser.

One officer he said was taken to Siloam Springs Hospital for a broken ankle and the other office was flown to Joplin, then later flown to Springfield, Mo. around 3:00 a.m. Thursday.

Tharp said he’s shocked about the crash.

“Please keep the officers and the others in the pickup truck in your prayers,” Tharp said. “The officers will need to go through many treatments and therapy while they recover. Both are excellent officers.”

Officer Taylor Bruning currently in the hospital in Springfield. He’s a new hire for the department and is currently finishing up his police academy training. At the time of the crash he was working with training officer Luke Rouheslang, Tharp said.

A Springfield hospital has a Level-1 trauma center, which is the highest qualification. Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville has Level-2 trauma center, and Chief Operating Officer Birch Wright said he’s not sure why Bruning wasn’t treated there.

“The family may have requested Missouri,” Wright said. “The patient may have requested Missouri, but Washington Regional absolutely could’ve taken care of that patient. We’d be happy to take care of that patient if the need arose again.”

Tharp said the officer Rouheslang was sent to a Siloam Springs hospital has been released and is at home recovering.

“Bruning has had multiple surgeries today (Thursday),” Grizzle said. “Rouheslang will find out tomorrow if they’re going to have to do surgery on his ankle. He just knows it’s broken at this time.”

KNWA/FOX24 doesn’t know the condition of the others in the pickup truck at this time. The crash is currently being investigated by Arkansas State Police.

Stay with KNWA/FOX24 news as we learn more.

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