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Update: Firefighter killed responding to wreck, driver charged with murder

A man has been arrested for murder after authorities say he ran over two firefighters and a police officer who were responding to a wreck. The names of the firefighters have now been released.
Captian Donald Jones of the Jacksonville Fire Department
Captian Donald Jones of the Jacksonville Fire Department
JACKSONVILLE, AR - A man has been arrested for murder after authorities say he ran over two firefighters and a police officer who were responding to a wreck.

Police and firefighters responded to a single vehicle accident around 11:30pm Monday in the 8400 Block of Hwy 161. Police say the vehicle left the road and hit a gas main.

According to investigators, 47-year-old Bryce Allen, drove around emergency vehicles and accelerated towards emergency responders, hitting three of them.

Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher lost more than a city employee. He also lost his classmate and friend since eighth grade.

"Never heard him say anything negative about anybody. He was just an exceptional person. I was at the Central Fire Station last night when they brought his equipment and it hit home," Fletcher said.

Tuesday morning, Centerpoint crews fixed the gas main that started the chain-reaction leading to Jones' death on Highway 161.

Police say Thelma Allen hit the main with her car.  Then Jones, firefighter Jason Bowmaster and police officer Daniel Dimatteo responded.

While helping her, they say Bryce Allen -- the crash victim's son -- sped right into the first responders, killing Jones and injuring the other two men.

"Was it intentional?" I asked.

"It does appear to be intentional. Yes. There were witnesses who say he accelerated toward the officer and the firefighters," said April Kiser, spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Police Department.

Kiser says Allen's criminal history dates back to 2009.  Court records show allen had a May hearing for felony terroristic threatening charges.

Mayor Fletcher says Jacksonville firefighters get top-notch training, but it doesn't prepare for these types of scenarios.

"How do you train anybody from getting hit in a car and they're off the road where they should be and did everything right?"



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