Arkansas police probe 911 dispatcher after caller drowns

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Authorities in Arkansas are investigating after a now-former 911 dispatcher scolded a frantic newspaper delivery woman for driving into floodwaters before she drowned.

Fort Smith interim Police Chief Danny Baker said Thursday that Donna Reneau (ruh-NOH’) was working her final shift Aug. 24 when Debra Stevens died. Reneau had given her notice two weeks earlier.

Police spokesman Aric Mitchell said Friday that Reneau dispatched emergency personnel to find Stevens, who’d driven into an apartment complex parking lot to try to avoid flooding. Reneau is heard in the 911 recording trying to reassure Stevens but also telling her not to drive in water.

Stevens is frantic in the 911 call, which eventually cuts off. Her body was recovered from her SUV in a nearby creek.

Messages left at phone numbers for Reneau weren’t immediately returned Friday.

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