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Updated: Officials identify victim, suspect in hit-and-run incident

Posted: August 16, 2012 - 10:21am
Michael Fowler
Michael Fowler

Update: Report indicates collision was head-on, not from behind as was originally stated. (12:58 p.m.)

Update: Prosecutor Cody Hiland says formal charges will be filed on Friday, including negligent homicide while intoxicated, a Class B felony punishable by 5-20 years in prison; and leaving the scene of an accident, a Class D felony, with a maximum penalty of six years. (4:04 p.m.)

Officials with the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office say the victim of a fatal hit-and-run incident that occurred about four miles west of Greenbrier on Wednesday night was 12-year-old Garrett J. Martin, of Wooster.

Authorities confirmed the boy was on an ATV in the roadway just outside of his home on Burgess Lane in Wooster after 5:30 p.m. when he was struck head-on by a black 1998 Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Michael Fowler, 27, of Springfield, killing the boy.

Fowler fled the scene.

Fowler was located less than one hour later by police in Morrilton.According to Sheriff’s Maj. Andy Shock, a preliminary report revealed that Fowler was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Emergency dispatch received the initial call at 5:33 p.m. from a young witness who was not involved in the incident.

A second 9-1-1 call came a short time later from a man who said his brother was a passenger in the vehicle that was involved, according to Shock.

“While we were en route there was another 9-1-1 call from a man who said his brother was a passenger in the wreck, and that the driver kept driving. He said that the man forced himself out of the vehicle,” Shock said.

The caller indicated that there was damage to the passenger side of the truck, and the passenger had to force his way out of the vehicle.

Shock said at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday that the passenger was being interviewed.

FCSO Capt. Matt Rice said blood alcohol content results are not yet available.

Fowler is being held in Faulkner County Detention Center pending a first appearance on Friday.

Prosecutor Cody Hiland said on Thursday afternoon that Fowler will be charged with negligent homicide while intoxicated, a Class B felony punishable by 5-20 years in prison; and leaving the scene of an accident, a Class D felony, with a maximum penalty of six years.

Hiland said prosecutor’s will petition for “a very high bond,” as Fowler is considered “a flight risk.”

(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached by phone at 505-1277 or by e-mail at megan.reynolds@thecabin.net. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net. Staff writer Courtney Spradlin contributed to this report.)

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justsayin'
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justsayin' 08/16/12 - 10:33 am
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very tragic

No matter the circumstances, a very tragic story!

BatmanandRobin
262
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BatmanandRobin 08/16/12 - 11:51 am
4
4
Is it legal to drive an ATV

Is it legal to drive an ATV on the public roads and highways?

brotherd21
46
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brotherd21 08/16/12 - 08:24 pm
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.

.

classylady4063
82
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classylady4063 10/04/12 - 04:38 pm
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Yes it is very illegal in all

Yes it is very illegal in all states regardless if they going from point A to point B

maryweb
49
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maryweb 08/16/12 - 12:05 pm
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Good question batman

So sad. We have kids that ride Atvs and golf carts up and down the street in our neighborhood. Neighbors have spoken to parents who became defensive. And the problem will continue until one of the children are hurt, or worse. So sad....

General Disarray
7473
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General Disarray 08/16/12 - 12:15 pm
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the face

of a dirtbag.

BuzzBy
17777
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BuzzBy 08/16/12 - 12:25 pm
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Should We
Unpublished

Start circulating Michael Fowler picture around Tucker Tech to make sure he gets a good cellmate?!?!?

On the other hand I think if you get hit while jaywalking you are at fault and the driver is not so.....
Mr Fowler might only be chraged for leaving the scene (with a fatality) which I'm sure is a felony and DWI. Legally they may not be able to charge him with the death since the boy was in the road illegally.

I'm not a lawyer but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night so....

Jollymusician
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Jollymusician 08/16/12 - 12:47 pm
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Atv riding on roadway

These are the state laws regarding ATV riding on roadways in Arkansas:

-An ATV can be titled if registered by the owner.

-All 3- and 4-wheeled ATVs are required to be registered, and the owner shall receive one numbered decal to be placed on the ATV.

-No ATV shall be operated without a lighted headlight and taillight from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.

-A person under 12 may not operate an ATV unless with a person 18 or older, or on a parent’s land, or with the permission of the land owner.

-ATVs may not be used on public streets or highways, except to cross these roads or for farming or hunting to get from one field to another. An ATV may be used on public streets outside city limits to get from one trail to another or to private property.

As much as people want to blame Mr. Fowler for the collision, the boy and his parents are also at fault. Sad that they had to learn that the hard way.

General Disarray
7473
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General Disarray 08/16/12 - 12:51 pm
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1
well

I don't find you very Jolly at all, Mr. Musician.

just_trying_to_survive
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just_trying_to_survive 08/16/12 - 12:50 pm
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fine line.

"A person under 12 may not operate an ATV unless with a person 18 or older, or on a parent’s land, or with the permission of the land owner. "

"ATVs may not be used on public streets or highways, except to cross these roads or for farming or hunting to get from one field to another. An ATV may be used on public streets outside city limits to get from one trail to another or to private property."

Just wondering if it were possible that he was traveling from one field up the road, along the edge of the road, and then crossing over to his property. He was 12, and outside city limits. As you can see in the video's on Channel 11, there was an open field across the street from his house, and possibly several spots up the road that he could have been coming from, making it totally legal. I'm not trying to say I know the law, I'm questioning how this paragraph and last sentence will be played out in this horrible tragedy.

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