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

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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