Jesse Evans, Editor | Hempstead Herald

Brandon Smith of Hope was injured early Saturday morning when, according to a family member, he suffered an anxiety attack which caused him to lose control of his vehicle, run off of I-30 and crash into the trees.

Smith was alone in his Ford Fusion traveling west on I-30 toward Hope when the wreck occurred. He was on the phone with his father-in-law, Norman Bobo of B&B Wrecker, when he told him he didn’t feel well and was starting to have an anxiety attack. Bobo told him to to pull over right away but before Brandon could do so, he lost control of the vehicle. Bobo said he heard the wreck over the phone.

Smith veered off the right side of the westbound lane before striking several small trees causing his Ford to go into a spin before rolling and crashing into another cluster of larger trees and spinning around to a stop. The vehicle came to rest on the two driver’s side wheels with the passenger side inclined against a tree at the 38 mile marker. The crash demolished the vehicle and left a large debris trail along the side of the interstate.

Smith managed to exit his vehicle through the moon roof and walked west along the interstate about 100 yards from the wreck. A couple of drivers stopped to check on him and attempted to make him comfortable until help arrived.

Arkansas State Police, Hempstead County Sheriff’s Deputies, Deann Volunteer Firefighters and a Pafford EMS crew were dispatched at about 1:20 a.m. to the rollover. Deputies arrived on scene first and checked on Smith’s condition. Pafford and Deann Fire Department arrived on scene and packaged Smith for transport to the hospital. He was taken to Wadley Regional Medical Center in Hope.

After noticing a child seat in the vehicle, firefighters used a thermal imager to check the woods around the wreck to confirm there was not a child in the vehicle with Smith at the time of the wreck. Their search confirmed Smith was alone.

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