A tale of two wrecks: Mine and the police chief's | Arkansas Blog

A tale of two wrecks: Mine and the police chief's

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CHIEF KENTON BUCKNER: Why no ticket in wreck.
  • CHIEF KENTON BUCKNER: Why no ticket in wreck.

First, a story.

It was 1973. I was returning from an assignment for the Arkansas Gazette, driving east on Cantrell Road in the rain. Ahead of me, a VW Beetle stopped to make a left turn. Driving a stick shift, he didn't need to have a foot on the brake pedal at the stop on flat ground so brake lights weren't illuminated. Too late, I realized he was stopped. I braked, but between the short distance and the wet pavement, it wasn't enough. I crumpled his rear end.

The Little Rock police officer who responded to the call said — despite my elaborate explanation  — that he had no option. He had to write me a ticket. I paid it. My insurance paid for the VW. In the fullness of time, I confess justice was served. I had all kinds of excuses — don't we always? — but I hadn't paid sufficient attention to avoid the wreck.

Which brings us to Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this morning that he'd rear-ended another vehicle the afternoon of March 2 at Markham and Spring Streets. Nobody was hurt. The car in front had stopped for a pedestrian. (Channel 4 said the car in front of Buckner stopped when a pedestrian with a dog started crossing the street.) Buckner braked, but not soon enough. Damage to the two cars was relatively minor — $100 to the city vehicle, $1,000 to the other driver's car. The conclusion:
The police report states that Buckner "followed too closely."

No citation was issued.
Why? Don't know. I've asked the chief on behalf of several readers who've sent that question to me. I'll let you know if I get a response.


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