On April 17, 2010, Melissa Payne and her daughters, Rachel and Alyson, were traveling east on Highway 18 near the Big Lake Bridge in Arkansas. At the same time, Samuel Pinkley was driving a tractor for his employer, Affordable Homes Super Center. He was traveling west on Highway 18. Samuel Pinkley failed to slow his vehicle as he approached a vehicle that was turning left. Pinkley locked his brakes, skid for a few hundred feet, slid sideways into the eastbound lane, and collided with Melissa Payne’s vehicle. As a result of the collision, Melissa died and Rachel and Alyson endured severe injuries.
Affordable Homes paid the limits of its insurance policy, which was one million dollars. As part of the recovery of the case, Affordable Homes agreed to maintain complete driver qualification files. Affordable Homes also agreed to implement Smith System for all of its drivers operating under the Department of Transportation. Through its behind-the-wheel training course, Smith System focuses on collision prevention by helping drivers study and master techniques to see, think, and react to driving challenges. Today, more than 30,000 fleet drivers each year participate in Smith System. This case was tried in the Circuit Court of Mississippi County, Arkansas.