FULL STORY: 'Hill-jumping' accident claims life of teen
Tylor Wright, 18, of Benton was killed in a one-vehicle accident Monday morning on Midland Road in Bryant when the vehicle he was traveling in hit a tree.
Wright died at the scene, authorities said.
Saline County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Green was dispatched to the accident site around 2:13 a.m.
According to a report from the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, witness Austin Hanig, 18, of Bryant had been riding in the bed of the 2002 white Ford F-150 moments before the accident occurred.
Hanig said he, along with Wright, another passenger, Hannah Phillips, 17, of North Little Rock, and the driver, Charles K. Sadler, 18, of Bryant were planning to return to Sadler’s residence when Sadler turned right onto Hilldale Road instead of left onto Springdale Road.
According to Hanig’s statement, Sadler planned to jump a hill on Midland Road and had talked about it earlier in the day.
“We were watching movies at (Sadler’s) … went to Taco Bell … on our way back, instead of turning left on Springdale, he turned (right) on Hilldale. I knew what was going on so I made him let me out. I got out and he left, came back and ramped the hill, lost control and hit a tree straight on,” Hanig said in his statement.
According to the report, the truck left the roadway before coming down sideways, crossing through a ditch on the right and eventually crashing into a tree.
The passenger side and front of the vehicle sustained the brunt of the damage. The report said that the vehicle traveled 409 feet before hitting the tree.
“Earlier tonight at Walmart, they talked about the exact hill (and) how one of our friends jumped it. So I guess that gave Kyle (Sadler) the idea,” Hanig also said in his statement.
Sadler, however, told police that he had swerved to miss a deer that had run out in front of him, causing him to veer off the roadway before striking the tree.
Phillips was taken to Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock via MedFlight. As of Monday afternoon she was in serious condition and a patient in the intensive care unit.
Sadler was not injured in the crash, according to the report.
Sadler was arrested Monday and charged with manslaughter before being released from jail on a $10,000 sheriff’s bond. Conviction of manslaughter, a Class C felony, carries a 3-to-10-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Saline County Prosecuting Attorney’s office had not received the case file regarding the accident.
“We have no idea what the facts are in this case because we haven’t received a case file from the sheriff’s office,” said Chris Walton, deputy prosecutor.
This wreck marks the first fatal “hill-jumping” accident in Saline County since Drew Melton, a senior at Benton High School, was killed in a similar wreck on Northlake Road in Bryant on Nov. 21, 2012.
Monday’s accident occurred 3.5 miles from where Melton was killed.
Wright was the son of Misty Wright and Aaron and Alisha Wright, all of Benton, and was a 2014 graduate of Benton High School.
Funeral service is set for 11 a.m. Thursday at Sharon Baptist Church in Benton.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Dial and Dudley Funeral Home in Bryant.