OSU Professor, Second Driver Killed In Payne County Crash
PERKINS, Oklahoma - Two people are dead after a four-vehicle crash in Payne County Wednesday evening.
The crash happened about 8 miles west of Perkins on state Highway 33 just before 5 p.m.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol identify the dead as Monica Dudley, 27, of Stillwater and Steven Soderling, 66, of Perkins.
The OHP says Dudley was westbound when her 2007 Dodge 4-door crossed into oncoming traffic and hit Soderling's Nissan pickup truck which was eastbound.
Dudley was pronounced dead at the scene. Soderling was flown by medical helicopter to a Guthrie hospital where he later died.
A 2009 Chevrolet van and a 2007 Dodge minivan taxi hit the crashed vehicles. One of the drivers suffered a wrist injury, the other driver and a passenger were not hurt.
OHP troopers say it is not clear what caused Dudley to lose control and swerve into oncoming traffic.
They also say Dudley and the people in the van and minivan were wearing seatbelts. They don't know if Soderling was wearing one.
According to Oklahoma State University's web site, Dudley was originally from Oklahoma City. She was pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies at OSU and had been hired as a visiting professor for the political science department in the fall of 2008.
Late Thursday afternoon the university released a statement from Jason Kirksey, associate vice president, OSU Institutional Diversity:
"Oklahoma State University is devastated by the loss of Monica Dudley. We send our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends. She was a bright young lady who achieved so much and was destine[d] to accomplish so much more. She effectively juggled a number of duties at OSU while completing her doctorate. She had a passion for teaching and helping young people realize their abilities to be successful in life. She will be missed."
The OSU Student Government Association will be holding a candlelight vigil on Dudley's behalf in Stillwater on Monday, February 6 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.