BATESVILLE — An Independence County man was released on a $25,000 bond Wednesday for his involvement in a car accident, resulting in the death of a Jonesboro resident.
Brandon Bishop, 23, of Sulphur Rock, was driving southbound in the 1600 block of Coon Creek Lake when his vehicle slid off the road, an Arkansas State Police preliminary crash summary states. Bishop’s 1997 Dodge Ram crossed into oncoming traffic, continued along a ditch and struck an embankment.
The truck eventually stopped in a ditch.
Independence County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bret Ward observed that Johnathan Easley, 24, of Jonesboro, was lying dead in the ditch. Bishop and Cambron Owens, 23, of Jonesboro, were lying on the roadside, according to the probable cause affidavit.
“Both subjects advised that Bishop was driving the vehicle and that Mr. Easley was riding in the back of the pickup bed and was ejected when they crashed,” it read. “Ward could detect a strong odor of intoxicants coming from each individual on the scene. Several unopened beer cans, as well as a cooler, (were) located not too far from Mr. Easley’s body.”
Bishop and Owens were injured and they were taken to White River Medical Center in Batesville for treatment, ASP reported. A blood draw was conducted at the hospital and sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab in Little Rock for analysis.
In an interview, Owens told investigators that the group was headed to Bishop’s residence after a day of swimming and drinking at the time of the crash, the affidavit states. He said that Bishop was driving too fast, hit a pothole and lost control of the pickup truck.
Results from the blood test showed that Bishop’s blood-alcohol level was 0.14%, nearly twice the legal limit, according to the affidavit. He also has been convicted of driving while intoxicated and was supposed to operate a vehicle with an ignition interlock device, which was not installed in the pickup he was driving.
Prosecutors filed formal criminal charges and an arrest warrant was issued Monday for suspicion of negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated, violation of ignition interlock device, driving on a suspended license, no proof of liability insurance and careless or prohibited driving.
Deputies arrested Bishop Wednesday afternoon and he was briefly listed online as a detainee.