By SHEA WILSON Managing Editor The Union County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the weekend death of an El Dorado man, who died after his motorcycle struck the back of a pick-up truck on U.S. 167 near the Champagnolle Road exit.
The accident occurred Friday night, but law enforcement officers did not realize the accident involved a motorcycle – or even a death – until Saturday morning, Sheriff Ken Jones said Monday.
Romara Morris, 31, of 3065 Parnell Road, was killed in the accident.
William C. Campbell of Houston, Texas, stopped at the Mobil station on East Main Street in El Dorado around 7:30 p.m. Friday and asked a clerk to call the police. The clerk called the sheriff’s office and said that someone needed to report a hit and run. Jones said the dispatcher contacted the El Dorado Police Department since the station is located in the city limits.
"The officer arrived, learned that the accident had occurred outside the city limits and told the guy he would have to contact the sheriff’s office since the accident had actually occurred outside the city," Jones said, adding that Campbell told deputies he had asked the clerk to contact the sheriff’s office after the EPD officer left but that no one from the sheriff’s office ever showed up.
The sheriff’s office has no record of a second call being placed, only the original dispatch, Jones said.
Campbell got a hotel room and notified the sheriff ’s office the next morning.
"Campbell said he was driving along, going about 55 to 60 and felt an impact that pushed him forward," Jones said. "It was dark and he couldn’t see anything."
Sheriff’s deputies went to the area where Campbell said he felt the impact around 7 a.m. Saturday. Morris’ motorcycle and body were found in the woods, though neither was immediately visible from the road, Jones said.
"We believe Morris hit the right rear area of Campbell’s vehicle (2000 Toyota Ta c oma), left the road and flipped before hitting a tree," Jones said, adding that due to the skid marks it is believed Morris was traveling at a high rate of speed. "The motorcycle left 149 feet of skid marks before reaching its resting place."
Jones said his office would be investigating how the accident "fell through the cracks Friday night and why the sheriff’s office never received notification that the accident occurred in the county."
He added, "I’m going to be talking to the clerk about why the second call was never placed. It’s very unfortunate." Campbell was cited for driving on suspended driver’s license.