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OHP Locates Wrecked SUV 14 Hours After Vague 911 Call; Driver Found Dead

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About 10 hours later after a 911 call was made to report a crash near the Creek Turnpike, authorities were able to locate the vehicle in a tree-filled dry creek bed. [license plate altered] About 10 hours later after a 911 call was made to report a crash near the Creek Turnpike, authorities were able to locate the vehicle in a tree-filled dry creek bed. [license plate altered]
The SUV was camouflaged by trees. The SUV was camouflaged by trees.
Troopers believe the man had a medical issue before leaving the roadway. Troopers believe the man had a medical issue before leaving the roadway.
"It traveled some distance from the turnpike, which would also indicate that something happened, inside the car, to the driver there," Captain George Brown said. "It traveled some distance from the turnpike, which would also indicate that something happened, inside the car, to the driver there," Captain George Brown said.
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -

About 14 hours after a 911 call was made to report a crash along the Creek Turnpike, authorities were able to locate the vehicle in a tree-filled dry creek bed.

Randy Ernstsen, 53, of Porter, was found dead inside the vehicle Friday morning.

Some Broken Arrow residents were surprised to see and hear police on one of their local roads Friday morning.

"As I heard it, he came from the Creek [Turnpike] and down the grass. That's my backyard, you know? I went, 'That's a little close for comfort,'" Carol Carlson said.

Carlson and her neighbor walked up to the scene to see investigators trying to figure out how the SUV wound up alongside Adams Creek.

A witness to the wreck placed an emergency call about 6 p.m. on Thursday, but provided a vague description of the location and vehicle, according to officials. Broken Arrow police officers and Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers said they searched several miles of the turnpike but didn't find skid marks or signs of a wreck.

On Friday morning, someone spotted a vehicle, believed to be the same one, and called 911.

Before 8 a.m., the dark-colored Ford Escape was found. The driver inside was dead.

"It traveled some distance from the turnpike, which would also indicate that something happened, inside the car, to the driver there," Captain George Brown said.

Troopers said they believe Ernstsen ran off the turnpike and drove about 500 feet down a grassy area, hit a fence and embankment, then went airborne and crossed 61st Street, striking trees and coming to rest in the dry ravine.

"I'm surprised the car went off that way and just ended up in the creek," said Gretchen Soerries.

The SUV's airbags deployed, but there was not a lot of damage to the vehicle, troopers said.

OHP said they believed that Ernstsen suffered some type of medical issue before leaving the road.

Neighbors are puzzled at why nobody stopped to help find the man when the 911 call originally came in.

"Why didn't he [the 911 caller] stay there and see that they came to help the poor guy?" Carlson said. "I mean, you just don't know how they think. You know, if it was us, we would have stopped and said, 'Can we help you?' Do something."

Troopers say some calls into 911 can be vague and the locations don't end up always being the same as they are reported.

"In the dark hours, any emergency responder going by looking, it's very easy to see that this would be an easy miss," Brown said.

"There's a lot of traffic along our road. I even went by and didn't see it this morning," Soerries said.

We submitted an open records request with the Broken Arrow Police Department for those 911 tapes. We were told the tape wouldn't be ready until Monday.

As for the family of Randy Ernstsen, they say they are in shock over the news.

The cause of death is being examined by the medical examiner's office.

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