BENTONVILLE, Ark. – A Delaware County attorney was arrested in connection with a fatal motorcycle crash leading to the death of an Arkansas woman.
Jason David Smith, 50, of Bella Vista, was arrested on Sept. 17 on complaints of negligent homicide while intoxicated, careless and prohibited driving and failure to yield at an unsigned intersection, according to a Benton County book-in sheet.
Killed in the May 29 crash was Afghanistan War veteran Carmen Vaughn, 30, of Bella Vista and injured in the crash was Dustin Simon, 37, of Bella Vista.
Smith is free on $10,000 bail but he has not been charged, online records show.
Whitney Evans-Smith said her younger sister served in Afghanistan for over six years and left behind a 3-year-old son.
Evans-Smith said the complaints are “just a slap on the wrist.”
“She fought for our country and served in Afghanistan as a helicopter mechanic,” Evans-Smith said. “Her death should be more.”
The crash happened around 4:45 p.m. in rural Benton County, according to a 14-page Arkansas Motor Vehicle Crash report.
Initially, prosecutors declined to file charges against Smith saying “the circumstances did not meet the criteria to pursue the charge” of negligent homicide, the report states.
Toxicology results for both men were added to the report and on Aug. 23 it was reported the prosecutor found probable cause to charge Smith, the report states.
Smith’s toxicology report showed the prescription drugs methadone, phentermine and sertraline were present. His blood level did register 0.05 for alcohol which is below the legal limit in Arkansas, the report states.
Smith’s medications are primarily used for chronic pain, weight loss and depression, according to a pharmaceutical website.
Smith was driving a 2021 Dodge Charger westbound on Highway 102 in Benton County and approached the intersection of Highway 102 and Highway 43 waiting to turn left and drive southbound on Highway 43, according to the report.
Simon was driving a Harley Davidson XTC motorcycle northbound on Highway 102 and was approaching the intersection when Smith turned left. Simon crashed into the driver’s side of Smith’s vehicle, the report states.
Vaughn was a passenger on the back of the motorcycle. Both Vaughn and Simons were ejected from the bike.
The report states Vaughn and Simon were not wearing helmets.
Vaughn died at Washington Regional Medical Center on May 30, the report states.
Smith has been a criminal attorney in Delaware County since 2003. He also specializes in family law, wills and estates, patents and intellectual property and protective orders.
Smith’s law office also doubles as a food pantry for animals providing free pet food to individuals who house stray dogs and cats.