LOWELL, Arkansas — A vehicle caught fire in the northbound lanes of Interstate 49 Tuesday (July 21) afternoon near Lowell, killing at least one person.
The person who died has been identified as 46-year-old Marcus Trollinger of Springdale, according to an Arkansas State Police Report.
According to Chief Tom Jenkins, Rogers and Lowell Fire Departments responded to the single-vehicle accident around 2:20 p.m.
Jenkins says there was a person reportedly trapped inside the vehicle that caught fire who died from his injuries.
Juan Roman-Dove and Austin Adams witnessed the crash happen and pulled over to help.
"They made a sharp right turn and the vehicle smacked into the side of the bridge," Roman-Dove said.
According to the report, the GMC Yukon Trollinger was driving ran off the roadway and struck a bridge pillar.
"I jumped the barrier and 5 or 6 other gentlemen that pulled over to help and we are fighting the fire,” Adams said.
Adams and Roman-Dove both tried to smash the windows of the vehicle and pry open the doors the get to the man inside. They both had to step back because the smoke and heat was too much.
“It just wasn’t working and it just got too hot," Roman-Dove said. "You know we had to back away… there was a lot of smoke.”
"I was sitting in there taking one of the orders and I saw a fire truck go by. Then about two minutes later three or four went by... cops. And then I looked out the window right there and saw a bunch of smoke. I mean we knew something was going down," Draven Swan, an eyewitness at the scene told 5NEWS.
According to Benton County Coroner Daniel Oxford, Trollinger was the Benton County Fire Marshal until early this year.
His funeral will be held Wednesday, July 29, at 10 a.m. at Cross Church in Springdale. There will be no mask requirements, but social distancing will be practiced.
A GoFundMe has been set up for his family.
The Highway 94 East Fire Department and Hickory Creek Fire Department released the following joint statement:
"It is with great sadness we announce the passing of former Fire Chief Marc Trollinger. On 7/21/2020 we learned about the passing of Marc Trollinger. Marc had served as Fire Chief at Hwy 94 East Fire Department for 3 years, and Fire Chief of Hickory Creek Fire Department for 13 years. He was also the Benton County Fire Marshal, a former Lowell Firefighter, and served on the Benton County Dive Team. Marc had over 25 years in the fire service wearing several different hats throughout his career. During those times, between the Hwy 94 East Fire Department and the Hickory Creek Fire Department, he had done many great things for the department and the community. To highlight some of the things he had done over the years were, lowering the ISO rating, greatly improving the fleet of apparatus, adding and updating equipment, building the Hickory Creek Fire Department Station 2, adding the engine tenders he called “The Wagons” to Benton County, and adding a fireboat to Hwy 94 East Fire Department. Marc lived and breathed the fire service. He was a great leader, mentor, Chief, and would do anything for anyone. He always had a giving heart. One phrase he always said, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the fire service. Thank you for everything you have done. "