West Memphis firefighter charged in fatal crash
Erby under administrative leave after Texas woman killed in wreck
firstname.lastname@example.org Arkansas State Police charged a West Memphis Firefighter/EMT in a fatal crash in the early morning hours of Friday, March 26.
The crash occurred at approximately 2 a.m., on Interstate 55 at mile marker 42. State Troopers booked Christopher Erby for refusing a blood alcohol test and careless driving. The city placed Erby on administrative leave pending investigation.
Two were injured in the crash and sent by ambulance to Regional One for treatment. Cindy S. Cline, age 44, of Point Blank, Texas, died in the crash.
According to the state police report, both vehicles were northbound on the Interstate. Erby, driving a Mitsubishi ran in the right hand lane. The Cline's vehicle, a 2013 Ford pulling a trailer, traveled in the left lane. Erby's vehicle veered across the center line and struck the trailer causing both vehicles to leave the roadway of the right shoulder. The Ford and trailer jack knifed, turned on its top and continued to slide into a field before coming to rest.
The report also indicated clear weather and dry roads.
West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon offered condolences to the victims and their families and said if alcohol charges get added to the mix Erby will be dismissed.
'I express our condolences to the family, said McClendon. “Our police .
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Christopher Erby CRASH (cont.)
and fire department are definitely held to a higher standard and if he is charged with DWI or something to that extent, he will be terminated at that point. The charges as we understand them today is careless driving and he is on administrative leave right now. If it comes out that its alcohol-related, then he will definitely be terminated.'
The mayor and Erby know each other through city business. Erby was hired in 2018 under the mayor's administration. Part of the hiring process at the city is a final interview with the mayor at city hall.
'I never expected him to be accused in anything like this,' said McClendon.
Erby bonded out of jail the same day.