A 7-year-old girl is dead after a motorcycle crash in Verdigris, and police say a helmet could have saved her life. Investigators suspect alcohol may be involved.
Verdigris police say a woman and her niece were riding a motorcycle when they went off the road into a steep ditch. The girl died after being crushed under her aunt and the motorcycle.
The aunt, 31-year-old Roxana Estrella Saldana, is in critical condition at a Tulsa hospital - with severe head injuries. Police say neither had a helmet on.
"The child could have possibly lived, maybe sustained other injuries, but highly likely could have made it through if she'd have been wearing a helmet, said Assistant Chief Darrin Hester, Verdigris Police.
Oklahoma law requires anyone under 18 on a motorcycle to wear a helmet.
Verdigris Assistant Police Chief Darrin Hester says not only was the little girl without one - she didn't have on protective clothing, either.
She was wearing pajamas and a pair of boots.
Hester says while the police department is not releasing the child's name - her mother knows what happened.
"They were aware that the child was staying over in the Verdigris area, but I don't know that they were aware she was out on a motorcycle with her aunt at one in the morning," the assistant chief said.
Police aren't sure how fast Saldana drove down 4130 Road early Sunday, May 7, 2017, but neighbors say speeding is a problem in the area.
"If you look through here, around this curve - even up through here and stuff - you don't see no speed limit signs," said Verdigris resident Jeff Kirby.
"And I think, honestly, I think they need to put the big garage speed bumps in here, to keep people slow down."
Officers on scene say they smelled an odor on the woman. As with any deadly accident, a blood sample was taken and sent to OSBI.
The District Attorney will decide if charges are filed, but police tell us the aunt could face vehicular or negligent homicide.