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Texting by driver may have caused fatality

The death of a 23-year-old Sherwood man Tuesday night in a one-car accident on Batesville Pike could be the result of texting while driving.

North Little Rock police Sgt. Brian Dedrick said investigators believe that Joe Smith, 23, of Sherwood was texting when his Chevrolet Cavalier left the roadway and struck a tree shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday at 9000 Batesville Pike.

Police said the car apparently was northbound when it crossed the center lane, left the road and struck a tree.

Dedrick said Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

“It appears that Smith was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Preliminary investigation indicates that Mr. Smith was possibly texting while driving, which possibly led to this accident,” Dedrick said.

Smith was no relation to Joe Smith, the city’s director of commerce and governmental affairs and an announced candidate for North Little Rock mayor.

The two-lane stretch of street is the location of several accidents a year. It connects North Little Rock’s Remount Road with Gravel Ridge and is hilly and has frequent sharp curves.

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