Week Of Deadly Crashes Leaves 22 Dead - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Week Of Deadly Crashes Leaves 22 Dead

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A sport-utility vehicle crossed the center median of Interstate 40 on Sunday and slammed into an oncoming tractor-trailer, killing a Missouri woman and her son in the latest in a series of deadly accidents on Oklahoma roads over the last week.

The woman in Sunday's crash was driving a Ford Explorer east on I-40 when she ran across the median and slammed head-on into the truck, causing both vehicles to catch fire, said OHP Capt. Chris West.

The woman and her son, whose names and ages weren't immediately released, died instantly. A young girl in the sport-utility vehicle was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital in critical condition, West said.

``Both vehicles burned, but no one died of fire, they died of trauma,'' West said. ``The trucker escaped without any injury.''

The deadly crash is the latest in a series of multiple-fatality accidents across Oklahoma in recent days that have left 15 people dead. Seven others were killed in single-fatality crashes, authorities said.

On Friday, seven people _ five men and two women believed to be illegal immigrants _ were killed when the sport-utility vehicle they were riding in ran off I-40 near Canute, went airborne for more than 100 feet over a county road that runs under the interstate and slammed into an embankment on the other side of the road, Trooper Betsy Randolph said.

An eighth man in the vehicle remains in critical condition at an Oklahoma City hospital, Randolph said Sunday.

``It just seems like recently we've had a rash of fatality accidents, for no rhyme or reason,'' Randolph said. ``It's frustrating.

``It's not like we've had bad weather. We're talking about beautiful, sunny days.''

Randolph said several of the victims had Mexican identification papers, and authorities were working with the Mexican consulate to identify the victims.

``I imagine it could be a lengthy process,'' Randolph said. ``We're looking at maybe a week or even two weeks before we could get 100 percent identity of the victims.''

Michael Tiderman, an Oklahoma City firefighter, and his 11-year-old son, Justin, were among four people killed in a deadly crash Thursday in Oklahoma City when a car went airborne and crashed head-on into Tiderman's truck. Two men in the car also were killed.

Another double-fatality crash was reported in far southeast Norman Friday night.

Other fatality accidents reported in recent days by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol include:

_Wesley Wayne Wimberly, 20, of Tonkawa died Tuesday east of Tonkawa when his vehicle ran off the road and struck a tree.

_Melanie J. Demanche, 34, of Weatherford died Thursday when her car was hit by a pickup truck as she tried to turn into a driveway in Weatherford.

_Jonathan Morton of Monroe died Friday when he ran off a LeFlore County road and slammed into a tree.

_The Comanche County Sheriff's Office reported Christopher Cohee of Lawton died Friday when he ran a stop sign in southeast Lawton and slammed into a cruiser driven by a Comanche County Sheriff's deputy.

_Patrick Hobbs, 45, of Porter died Saturday when his car went off U.S. Highway 69 near Wagoner and crashed into a guardrail, throwing him from the vehicle.

_Alicia Patterson, 17, of Chelsea died Saturday near Foyil after the vehicle in which she was riding hit an embankment and rolled, pinning her beneath the wreckage.

_Kenneth Branch, 55, of Longview, Texas, died Saturday when the motorcycle he was riding ran off Oklahoma 1 near Hodgen and crashed into an embankment.
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