Reprinted from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette
TWO LOCAL MEN INJURED IN FREAK ACCIDENT
Two local men were seriously injured when their pick-up truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday morning Woodruff County Deputy Davey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock are listed in serious condition at Baptist Medical Center.
The accident occurred as the two men were returning to Des Arc after a frog-gigging trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pick-up truck headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that a .22 caliber bullet from his pistol would fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering wheel column.
When the bullet was inserted, the headlights again began to operate properly and the two men continued eastbound toward the White River Bridge.
After they had traveled approximately 20 miles and just before they crossed the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged, and struck Poole in the right testicle. The vehicle swerved sharply to the right, exiting the pavement and striking the tree.
Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but will require surgery to repair the other wound. Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released. "Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston shot his nuts off or we might have been dead," stated Wallis. Said Deputy Snyder, "I've been a trooper for ten years in this part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can't believe that those two would admit how this accident happened!"
Upon being notified of the wreck Poole's wife, Lavinia, asked how many frogs the boys had caught and whether anyone had gotten them from the truck.
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