When will I get my tax refund?
Story and pics by Jon Fisher.
All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
Hot Springs Police Officer Murray was on patrol in the 800 Block of Park Avenue when he allegedly observed a black Dodge Challenger swerve out of it’s lane. Off. Murray turned around and caught up to the vehicle at the Intersection of Central Avenue at Grand Avenue.
Off. Murray ran a computer check of the license plate and it came back as having just been reported stolen out of Hot Springs. A traffic stop was attempted at the Grand Avenue/Central Avenue Intersection. According to the police report, the stolen vehicle spun tires and sped off westbound on West Grand reaching speeds over 70 Mph. Then, allegedly ran a red light and smashed head-on into the front of the building located at 600 West Grand. The exterior wall of the building was breeched and the car came to final rest partially inside the building. A fire broke out in the wreckage.
First Responders pulled the occupants from the burning vehicle.
Hot Springs Fire & Rescue Troops were very quick to respond and put the fire out quickly.
LifeNet Dispatched at least 2 Ambulances and the EMS Supervisor to the scene. Both occupants were taken to the hospital by ambulance. The juvenile passenger inside the vehicle at the time of the crash suffered fracture(s) to an arm, a lung trauma, and injuries to the head and face.
What was described to me as a City Of Hot Springs Building Inspector was called out and he arrived very quickly to help HSFD Bosses determine the status of the damaged building. The front exterior wall of the building was damaged significantly and cracks in the brickwork were visible from the area of impact to the top of the roof.
HSPD Lieutenant Roach ordered out the HSPD Traffic Van. Barricades and police tape were utilized to mark the areas of danger.
Traffic flow was interrupted for approximately 2 hours.
The driver, Noah Merritt, 18, of Fountain Lake, was arrested and charged with Felony Theft By Receiving, Felony Endangering The Welfare Of A Minor & Felony Fleeing with a bond amount totaling $11,000.