Pineville VFD member killed in head-on collision; family members were first responders


Sad news out of Pineville as a member of the community’s volunteer fire department has been killed in a head-on collision.

Reports indicate Joseph Stephen, 25, of Mountain Home was driving his Honda Accord northward on Arkansas State Hwy. 177 near Jordan in Baxter County when his vehicle crossed the centerline and struck a southbound Chevrolet Tahoe. The accident occurred around 8:30 p.m. Monday (Jan. 22).

Pineville Volunteer Fire Department First Responders, some members of which are Stephen’s immediate family, were called to the scene. In fact, the chief of the Pineville Fire Department, Mike Stephen, is the father of the victim. (Mike Stephen is also a former member of the Stone County Sheriff’s Department.)

White River Now’s Gary Bridgman also reports Joseph Stephen’s wife is due to give birth to the couple’s child later this month.

To read the Arkansas State Police report on the accident, click here.

Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. and Ozark Newsline on Arkansas 103.3, 93 KZLE, and other W.R.D. Entertainment radio stations. If you have a news tip or event to promote, email White River Now at


  1. Thank you for sharing… I am a Deputy of the Stone County Sheriff’s Department. As this is my paying job and we volunteer to serve our community.

    The incident is tragic in many ways as Joseph is my oldest son. He served with great enthusiasm. He had held the rank of Lieutenant and was a 2010 graduate of the Arkansas Fire Academy completing his firefighter II certification at Southern Arkansas University, Camden.

    On scene was his family. Grandfather Joseph I. Stephen, Uncles Daniel and Mark Stephen, Step-mother Susan Stephen, Brothers Mike D. Stephen Jr., Lt. Logan M. Stephen and newest Junior Firefighter Brandon A. Stephen and myself Chief Michael D. Stephen Sr.

    Deputy Chief Eric Hicks, Captain Johnny Webb, Lt. Patty Sanders, Firefighters Jacob Seay, Candice Seay, Chris Sanders, Karen Webb and Chief Mike Slice and his firefighters from the Rodney Fire Department.

    The call was dispatched as an Izard County call but was clearly in Baxter County which is common issue in the area complicated by cell towers.

    As it is clear the cooperation between the departments is unmatch in the area. Every Firefighter had worked and trained with Joseph Wayne Stephen over the years and this hits home not only with the blood family but the extended firefighter family.

    They protected me from myself shielding me from the emotional issues of loosing a young man I so proud to call Son.

    I prayed for the family of the injured and for the deceased before even arriving on scene. Common as God has called us to serve and his guidance to do his will comes first. Little did O know that when they called for Corner it was for my Jojo…

    I asked that as you pray for our family real, extended and soon to be born that you remember the couple in the vehicle Joe crossed into causing his death. They are victims of an accident that happens all to often.

    I have lived a life of public service since the age of 16. I have raised children with an understanding of public service and helping others. We all help others and if our actions or lack of response causes harm we go to God in prayer.

    There is not more demanding calling than the one of a first responders. No matter the badge, title or color of that thin line it cuts to the bone if someone is hurt.
    When you get a family member in the mix the emotional attacks come from within.

    Pray for all support the first responders
    Yellow and

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