Former Beebe Police Officer Loses Son and Ex-Wife in Weather-Related Accident, Jan. 6th at Bee Branch

Jan 18th, 2017 | By | Category: Top Story

Former Beebe Policeman Chris Ward tragically lost his 17-yr. old son, Shane Ward, and Shane’s mother and Chris’ ex-wife, Amanda McKinnon, in a weather-related accident at Bee Branch on Hwy. 65. Ward’s older son, Austin, 19, was in critical condition and flown to a hospital in Fayetteville that night because weather conditions prevented him from being flown to Little Rock. According to the Ark. State Police report, Ms. McKinnon was driving north on U.S. Hwy. 65 and lost control of her 2006 Dodge and slid to a stop across the southbound lane of U.S. Hwy. 65. Her vehicle was struck by a southbound 2015 Freightliner which struck the right side of McKinnon’s vehicle. Shane was killed at the accident site and Ms. McKinnon lived about 24-hours but never regained consciousness, according to a family member. Austin Ward is progressing and family members say that he will be transferred to a rehab facility in White County sometime this week. According to Ark. State Police Cpl. Donald K. Stringer, the accident happened at 8:10 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2017. It was snowing at the time of the accident and roads were snow covered. Chris Ward was a Beebe Policeman from 2012-2014. Ward is now married to the former Katie Kennedy, of Beebe. (See obituary on Page 5 for Shane and Ms. McKinnon).