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A Salem man has been charged with manslaughter, a class C felony, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in the death or personal injury of another, a class D felony and driving while intoxicated.


On April 28 the Izard County Sheriff's Office was notified of a vehicular accident involving an injured pedestrian. Once on scene, Sergeant Mike Smith and Deputy Sean Hunt observed the victim, Corey Ferguson in a roadside ditch in front of a residence on Hawk Lane in Horseshoe Bend. Deputies and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel provided medical aide to Ferguson, who was subsequently flown by air ambulance to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock to receive medical treatment.  


Deputies spoke with two female witnesses who stated that Ferguson, and the driver of the suspect vehicle, Alexander Blake Rouse, were involved in a physical altercation in which Rouse was seated in the driver seat of the vehicle and Ferguson was standing outside of the vehicle. The altercation took place through the open driver's door window. 


Once on scene, Investigator Tyler K. Webb interviewed the two female witnesses, Jamie King, and Brandie Joice. It was established that King and Joice, as well as Tara Hamilton, and an unidentified male had witnessed the incident. Hamilton and the unidentified male left the scene prior to law enforcement's arrival. 


According to witnesses on scene, Alexander Blake Rouse, Jamie King, and Corey Ferguson had been traveling in Ferguson's vehicle; Rouse and King reportedly dropped Ferguson off at a residence in Horseshoe Bend at which time Ferguson instructed Rouse that he could take his truck and drive around for a while and then return to the residence to pick Ferguson up. 


After Rouse and King had not returned in the agreed upon amount of time, Ferguson, Joice, and Hamilton then got into Joice's vehicle to look for Rouse and King and met them a short while later on Hawk Lane in Horseshoe Bend. 


According to witness statements, the altercation between Ferguson and Rouse ensued and during the altercation, Rouse accelerated the vehicle while Ferguson was holding on to the steering wheel/driver's door of the vehicle. Witnesses stated that the vehicle, with Ferguson holding onto it, traveled at a high rate of speed off of the roadway into the ditch, subsequently striking a mailbox, a driveway culvert, and then another driveway culvert. Witnesses stated that Rouse continued driving for approximately four hundred yards before stopping the vehicle, exiting the vehicle, and fleeing on foot. Witnesses stated that at this time they found the victim lying in the ditch. An occupant of a nearby residence came outside, called 911, and began to help administer medical aide to Ferguson, according to witnesses.  


While processing the scene, law enforcement gained information that Rouse had fled to a residence located on AR HWY 354 after fleeing from the accident scene. Inv. Webb and Sgt. Smith traveled to the residence and took Rouse into custody. 


In a post-Miranda interview, Rouse confessed to using methamphetamine intravenously approximately 45 minutes prior to the altercation with Ferguson, as well as intravenously using methamphetamine approximately six times in the twenty-four hours prior to the incident. Rouse stated that while seated in the driver's seat of the vehicle, Ferguson approached the vehicle from the outside and a physical altercation ensued before Rouse ultimate accelerated the vehicle, running off the roadway and striking a mailbox and two separate driveway culverts, before traveling approximately four hundred yards down Hawk Lane in the vehicle before exiting and ultimately fleeing the area on foot. 


Though not all witnesses remained on scene at the time of the incident, Izard County Investigators were able to locate and interview all parties who were present at the time of the incident. The investigation yielded the following individuals as witnesses: Jamie King, Brandie Joice, Tara Hamilton, and Clifton Burrows; all parties provided either written or verbal statements detailing the incident, which were consistent with investigators' findings. The occupant of the residence near the location of the incident also provided a written statement which was consistent with investigators' findings.  


Corey Ferguson died shortly after arriving at UAMS in Little Rock. His body was submitted to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory Medical Examiner's Office.  


Rouse is currently incarcerated in the Izard County Detention Center.


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