State Police say a Little Rock man was pronounced dead after a traffic accident about 5 p.m. Thursday on Highway 365 near Wrightsville. The full report is not available yet, but a State Police spokesman said an intitial report indicated Richard Ratley's vehicle left the east side of the road and hit a tree.
Ratley was well-known in the Heights because he lived in a house on Cantrell Road, just west of University Avenue on the busy highway, where hand-made political yard signs were a feature in recent years. The signs generally opposed President Obama. Gas prices and the president's golf outings were recent subjects. A member of Ratley's family tells me, however, that the signs didn't represent her father's sentiments. He leased the space to another man for his use, she said.
Ratley also was the father of Richard "Keye" Ratley, who was killed Christmas Eve 2011 during a robbery outside the Discovery nightclub.
Ruebel Funeral Home will be handling arrangements.