NATIONAL (WTRF) — A law enforcement officer is dead after being hit by a truck while escorting the transfer of materials for a Wreaths Across America event, according to reports from KNWA/FOX24.

Sheriff Shawn Holloway with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office stated that Detective Paul Newell, 51, was on-duty December 17, when he was hit by a truck.

The accident happened before 7:30 a.m. on Walton Boulevard, in Bentonville, Arkansas. The Bentonville Police responded to the crash and blocked the area off.

The Benton County Division of Public Safety posted information on its Facebook page immediately stating, that the Benton County Sheriff’s Office lost a great deputy, and to please keep the family and the law enforcement brothers and sisters in your prayers.

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The BCSO shared that Detective Newell had been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1998, starting in the detention division. During Newell’s law enforcement career, he served as a patrol deputy, patrol sergeant, training sergeant, and lieutenant.

A witness at the accident was a lawyer for Walmart and told KNWA/FOX24 that law enforcement officers were in the process of escorting a Walmart truck for a Wreaths Across America event. 

The annual Wreaths Across America event was scheduled to take place Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at the Fayetteville National Cemetery.

A veteran attending the event stated there was a total of three trucks delivering wreaths to the Fayetteville National Cemetery, each from a Northwest Arkansas-based company: Walmart, Tyson and J.B. Hunt.

The veteran stated that the Walmart truck did not deliver its wreaths.

A Walmart spokesperson sent KNWA/FOX24 a statement saying:

“We’re heartbroken about this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with Deputy Paul Newell’s loved ones. We value our partnerships with local law enforcement and will be cooperating with the investigation.”