An El Dorado man was killed early last month after he stole a truck and then crashed it on Mount Holly Road.
Shawn D. Samuels, 30, of El Dorado, was killed Oct. 7 after colliding with a Ford F-150, which caught fire as a result of the crash.
According to a report from the El Dorado Police Department, Samuels was driving a truck that police believe was stolen when he crashed.
On October 7, DEP responded to a report of a white F-150 crashing into a man. Police made contact with Ricky Sorrels near the Mobil gas station on 10th Street, where he and witnesses reported being struck by the truck.
A witness allegedly told police he saw Sorrels chasing the pickup truck on foot. As the truck pulled out of the parking lot into a nearby vacant building, the witness said he saw the truck driver run over Sorrells before leaving the scene.
A second witness corroborated the first’s claims, saying the white truck belonged to Sorrell, the DPS report said.
A third witness told police he saw Sorrells arrive at the gas station in the white truck, and while Sorrells was still inside, he saw another man get into his truck. He said he motioned the other man to Sorrells, at which point Sorrells began chasing the truck, the report said.
An officer also interviewed Sorrells at South Arkansas Regional Hospital, where he was being treated for injuries he sustained when he was struck by his truck. According to the police report, Sorrells said he stopped at the gas station to get a drink and left his truck unlocked and unlocked it while he was inside. He told the officer that when he saw someone driving, he thought it was a friend playing a prank.
Sorrells said he followed the truck to the vacant building next door and was hit when the driver tried to leave the area. He said he was struck by the front passenger side of the truck and the front passenger side tire ran over him, and also told police he saw the truck driver make a sharp right turn “in an attempt to (run) him over with the back tire.”
Meanwhile, another FDNY officer aware of the incident saw a white F-150 matching the description of Sorrels’ vehicle approaching Liberty Street from College Avenue. The officer activated his blue lights and began pursuing the truck, which headed westbound on Mount Holly Road at about 50 mph.
As the chase continued, the officer and the truck reached speeds of 80 mph, according to the report. After crossing Interstate 335, the driver began “driving carelessly with disregard for any human life,” the officer wrote in the report, nearly hitting another driver.
At that point, the officer who was pursuing the driver decided to back off because the other driver was close to the accident and had “fully exhausted his brakes.”
Officers were then asked to continue heading west on Mount Holly in search of the vehicle, and near the 6500 block of Mount Holly, police eventually found the F-150 “crashed on the south side of the road completely engulfed in flames.”
The El Dorado Fire Department responded to the scene and officers had to retreat “due to the possibility of an explosion,” the report said. The truck’s gas tank eventually exploded, and the Cairo Volunteer Fire Department joined EFD to fight the fire.
Firefighters found Samuels, 33, dead inside the vehicle. His remains were identified by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory later in October.
Alice Sorrels, Ricky Sorrels’ mother, said that after he was taken to SARH, her son was transferred for treatment in Little Rock. She said medical professionals initially believed he had a brain bleed, and he also suffered two broken legs, torn ligaments, cuts, bruises and scrapes.
She said her son has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt because of the accident.
“It was a horrific ordeal,” she said, noting that her son is currently unable to work due to his injuries.