Local man dies in airplane crash southeast of Fayetteville


A local insurance agent and entrepreneur died Friday in an airplane crash in rural Washington County, southeast of Fayetteville, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Lewis Brant Barnes, 43, of Tontitown, was killed when his M35 fixed-wing plane crashed off North Smokey Bear Road, the Sheriff’s Office said in a social media post. Barnes was the only occupant in the aircraft when it crashed, according to an updated post later in the day.

Barnes was a Shelter Insurance agent in Fayetteville and the local Papa John’s restaurant franchisee.

The crash was reported at around 5:57 p.m. When deputies arrived on the scene at 6:03 p.m. they located the airplane.

The Fayetteville Fire Department, Round Mountain Fire Department, Central EMS and the Washington County Coroner’s Office also responded to the incident.

Both the FAA and Barnes’ family have been notified, the Sheriff’s Office said.