State trooper

Sgt. Chuck Lewis with the Arkansas State Police was not seriously injured when a tractor-trailer jackknifed and hit the rear of his police cruiser, sending it into a treeline north of Interstate 40 around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

An Arkansas State trooper escaped serious injury Wednesday when the trailer of a commercial carrier jackknifed and hit the back of his patrol car.

The incident happened around 9 a.m. along Interstate 40 west of Lonoke, according to state police.

Officials said that Sgt. Chuck Lewis was using his emergency blue lights in an attempt to warn I-40 westbound drivers about a crash ahead that was slowing traffic.

The driver of a tractor-trailer approached the area and lost control of his vehicle as he began to brake, causing the trailer to jackknife and impact the rear of the patrol car occupied by Sgt. Lewis. The state police patrol car was spun into a tree line north of the interstate.

The driver, later identified as Joe A. Barbosa, 54, of San Antonio, Texas, regained control of the truck and trailer and left the scene of the crash. State police said he was later apprehended in the North Little Rock area where he was charged with careless and prohibited driving and leaving the scene of a property damage crash.

Barbosa was released and was given a Lonoke County court date to answer the charges.

Sgt. Lewis did not have any serious injuries and Barbosa was not injured.

State police say the first crash that happened just before 9 a.m., along with the crash involving Sgt. Lewis began to cause multiple crashes in a slow chain reaction stretching east of the first crash scene by more than 30 miles.

Media partner KATV contributed to this report.

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