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West Memphis Police react to deadly crash involving officer and teen

Published: Feb. 22, 2007 at 10:44 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2007 at 10:45 AM CST
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West Memphis Police say Brittney Sikes was heading home when Officer James Wright got an SOS call from one of his co-workers.

On his way to the scene, investigators say he crashed into Sikes and her little sister.

Sikes was behind the wheel of an Oldsmobile Alero when she collided with a West Memphis Police officer Wednesday afternoon.

"Being a parent myself our hearts go out to the family of Brittany," says West Memphis Ass. Police Chief, Mike Allen.

Allen says Sikes was on Rich Road heading home with her younger sister when Officer James Wright tried to pass her on the left.

Allen says, "the Sikes vehicle turned left off of Rich Road onto Arlington and into the path of the police cruiser."

The officer was responding to a robbery call in the parking lot of this West Memphis Wal-Mart. One of his fellow officers had already apprehended two suspects when he was called in as backup. But, he crashed on the way there.

Allen adds, "enroute using his emergency lights and sirens the accident occurred."

Neighbors on the street only remember hearing the crash.

"He did not have his lights and sirens on and he was going so fast and it just smashed her car, says neighbor, Cheri Waddel.

The officer's physical injuries were minor but his boss says he is emotionally traumatized.

"You know everyone is wanting to blame the cops and I guess I do too," says Waddel.

Arkansas State Police will have to determine who is to blame. Time will tell if robbery suspects Joshua Connor and Brad Baker, should share some of of that blame for allegedly setting off a series of events that led to the death of Brittney Sikes.

Connor and Baker are due in court in West Memphis Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas State Police will handle the remainder of the crash investigation.

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to email Anna Marie Hartman.