It happened Saturday night outside of Solgohachia on Highway 287. The woman who died is Elizabeth Gilbert. She's the mother of two teen girls. Her youngest daughter was in the car with her. She is recovering at UAMS.
The family's Pontiac Grand Am reflects a tragedy. Renee Lewallen says she can hardly believe her sister-in-law Beth Gilbert is dead.
"There wasn't anywhere for Beth to go and he hit her head on," says Lewallen.
"We've had our moments of tears ... but not Beth no it just isn't so," says Lewallen.
The wreck that mangled the car killed Beth, and injured her daughter Allison Gilbert. The family says the 16 year-old Nemo Vista student was asleep in the back seat when the accident happened. "We wouldn't of had my niece right now if she would have been the front," says Lewallen.
The other car involved, is Conway County sheriff's deputy Rickey Emerson's cruiser. Part of his car is still embedded in the Gilbert's.
The Sheriff Office says Deputy Emerson was on Highway 287 heading north, going to a report of child abuse. The State Police report says at some point he crossed into the southbound lane and hit Gilbert's car head on.
According to the fatal accident report from Arkansas State Police, Elizabeth Gilbert, 40, and Allison Gilbert, 16, were traveling in a 2005 Pontiac Grand Am south on Highway 287 around 4 a.m. two miles north of Solgohachia, which is nine miles northeast of Morrilton.
Rickey Emerson was driving a 2009 Crown Victoria north on Highway 287. In the report, Emerson drove off the roadway to the right back onto the road and crossed the center line, striking the Grand Am head on.
Investigators say the impact happened on the bridge, north of Solgohachia, leaving the grieving family with questions.
"Why someone could be so careless that's suppose to serve and protect and end up taking a life," asks Lewallen.
Lewallen says she and the rest of the family are working to support Gilbert's husband and two daughters. She says the feisty, opinionated woman will be impossible to forget.
"Even though she's gone she can keep her own memory alive," says Lewallen.
Allison Gilbert is suffering from two broken legs and a cracked pelvis. Her family says she's in a lot of pain. They say her condition temporary got worse when they had to break the news that her mom didn't survive.