Train Truck Crash Claims Lives of Two Corning High School Seniors

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Aug. 21, for the two Corning High School students killed Friday afternoon north of the city. The two CHS seniors died when their vehicle was struck by a train, leaving a community and county in mourning.

The crash occurred in the Moark, Ark., community and claimed the lives of Rachel Ballard, 17, of Corning, and Bethany Renee Stormes, 17, of Knobel, Ark.

According to the report from the Arkansas State Police, the crash occurred just after 4 p.m. at the rail crossing adjacent to the intersection of county roads 154 and 157. The narrative indicated the 2001 Chevrolet the two were traveling in was eastbound and failed to yield to the northbound freight train. The pickup was struck on the passenger side, and came to rest north of the crossing on the east side of the tracks.

The report indicated conditions were clear at the time of the crash, although the gravel road was wet. The fatality was investigated by Trooper Jarrod Lyerly of the Arkansas State Police with assistance from the Clay County Sheriff's Department.

A community visitation for both young ladies was held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21, in the Corning High School gymnasium.

Graveside funeral services for Rachel Ballard were conducted at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at Moark Cemetery, in Moark, with Brother Cam Stevens officiating. Meanwhile, graveside services for Bethany Stormes were conducted at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21, in the Hosea Cemetery in Knobel, Ark., with Brothers David Stalling and Terry Phipps officiating.

Both funerals were under the direction of Ermert Funeral Home, of Corning, and online condolences may be shared at

The complete obituaries may be found in that section of this website.

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