A 26-year-old Conway man is now charged with manslaughter following a February crash that left one man dead.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Andrew Landon McKnight was driving a Chevrolet Silverado when he crossed over the center line on east German Lane and struck a Chevrolet Tracker driven by 81-year-old Louis Gray head on.
Paramedics took Gray to Conway Regional Medical Center immediately following the Feb. 13 crash, where he was later transferred to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. Gray succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash following a spinal surgery on Feb. 28 and was pronounced dead March 9.
McKnight was initially charged with second-degree battery, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage, reckless driving and criminal mischief following the February crash. However, after Gray died from injuries sustained in the crash, prosecutors sought to upgrade the charges against McKnight.
Online records show the charges against McKnight were upgraded Wednesday afternoon.
The 26-year-old suspect appeared in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Thursday, where he pleaded not guilty to the newly-filed manslaughter charge against him. McKnight, who was previously ordered to appear on Thursday with an attorney, had not yet hired an attorney to take on his case by his morning pretrial hearing.
Faulkner County Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. has now ordered McKnight to reappear in circuit court June 25 to check on the status of his legal representation.
Conway police responded to the crash involving McKnight and two other victims. One of those victims, 81-year-old Gray, has since died from injuries sustained in the Feb. 13 crash.
Investigators on scene learned McKnight had taken two Hydrocodone pills two hours before the crash and was involved in a hit-and-run accident just a few minutes prior to crashing into Gray.
According to the victim of the hit-and-run incident, McKnight “made no attempts to stop” after side-swiping her vehicle.
“The other party involved in [the hit-and-run] accident reported that Mr. McKnight made no attempts to stop after the accident, and she followed him until she was stuck at a red light,” on officer wrote in his report. “Another witness reported that, after the first accident, but prior to the second accident, he had seen Mr. McKnight swerving on the road so badly that his tires went into the ditch at one point.”
McKnight is scheduled to appear next at 9 a.m. June 25 in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a status hearing regarding his legal representation for the remaining criminal proceedings against him.