RIP Haven Hughes: Little Rock public notice confirms death of KARK journalist

Bruno Cooke January 18, 2023
RIP Haven Hughes: Little Rock public notice confirms death of KARK journalist
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City of Little Rock Public Relations confirmed the death of KARK (Fox 16) journalist Haven Hughes on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

She actually died the day before, on January 16. Patrol officers responded to a road traffic collision at 9400 Stagecoach Road on Monday.

The collision involved a motorcycle and a vehicle. The driver of the motorcycle was Mark Hudson of Little Rock, age 34, while Haven Hughes (22, of the same) was his passenger. 

First responders pronounced her dead at the scene. News has so far travelled to Facebook and Twitter.

USA, Arkansas, Little Rock, city skyline from the Arkansas River, morning

Little Rock PR confirms Haven Hughes’ death in collision on Stagecoach Road

Age 22 at the time of her death, Haven Hughes was a freshly trained journalist enjoying her first professional posting in the business.

The City of Little Rock’s public relations department published a public notice on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 about a fatality collision at 9400 Stagecoach Road. It happened the previous day, in the evening, judging by the fact that Hughes tweeted earlier that day.

When Southwest Patrol officers responded to the “vehicle vs motorcycle collision,” the public notice reads, the driver and passenger of the motorcycle were both “lying on the ground unresponsive.”

Mark Hudson, 34, was the driver of the motorcycle; Haven Hughes, 22, was his passenger. Both are from Little Rock, Arkansas.

What happened to the driver of the second vehicle?

Little Rock City’s public notice identifies the driver of the second vehicle as Chandra Stigall, 46. 

Medical professionals transported her to the 12th Street Substation, where she provided a urine sample. This is for toxicology testing, the notice adds, “in accordance with state law.”

Accident reconstruction officers processed the scene, took photographs and collected evidence, including measurements, and authorities have interviewed witnesses. 

They have notified next of kin and, so far at least, filed zero charges.

When did Haven Hughes join KARK as a reporter?

In August of 2022, meaning she had only been a real-world news reporter for six months

She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication and media studies last year, from Henderson State University, according to her LinkedIn profile. While studying there, she gained experience as a reporter, on-air host and news anchor for the university’s Oracle newspaper, radio station (The Pulse) and TV channel (Henderson Television). 

Hughes joined KARK 4, which is also Fox 16, in August 2022, based in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Before attending university, she graduated from Harmony Grove High School with a high school diploma. At university, she was part of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. 

Light trails from cars in front of Little Rock skyline.

News has yet to travel very far

A few tributes to Haven Hughes have started to trickle in on social media following her death on Monday.

“Sending love and prayers to the family and friends of this young lady,” writes one Twitter user. They met her the day she died, according to their tweet. Hughes had interviewed them. 

Another tells her to “rest easy,” while over on Facebook, one user has commented “RIP Haven” on her most recent post. Hughes’ most recent Instagram post is similarly recent. It has just one comment: “RIP,” with a praying hands emoji.

GRV Media/The Focus has reached out to KARK for comment.

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.