November 19, 2008
AR – An Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) wildlife officer
was killed early Sunday morning when the helicopter he was in
crashed in Cleburne County. The officer was participating in an
operation aimed at catching night hunters.
The crash took place at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 16 about
five miles northeast of Quitman on Highway 25. Killed in the crash
was wildlife officer Sgt. Monty Carmikle, 45, of Heber Springs.
Sgt. Carmikle, a 23 year veteran of AGFC, was a passenger in a Bell OH-58 helicopter
when it went down in a field on private property. The contract
helicopter pilot, Jerry Fryar of Ozark, was taken to a Conway
hospital where he was treated and released.
This is the first time that an AGFC wildlife officer has died in the
line of duty since two officers were killed in a plane crash in
the early 70s.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National
Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. At this
time, there is no indication of what might have caused the crash.
AGFC Chief of Enforcement Mike Knoedl, said that the entire agency
is deeply saddened by Carmikle’s death. “Being a wildlife officer
is a very dangerous job. We’re trained for just about everything,
but in this instance it was out of the officer’s control,” he
In 1991, Carmikle was named Wildlife Officer of the Year for the
Southeast Region. He is survived by his wife and son.