A 98-year-old man died after crashing his vehicle off U.S. Highway 60 near Zyder Hill on Wednesday morning, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says.
OHP says Dominic Baldrachi, of Bartlesville, was westbound on U.S. 60 when he departed the road to the left, struck a metal gate, a tree and a steel post, then entered a creek and struck its bank.
Baldrachi was pronounced dead at the scene, OHP says.
The investigating trooper says Baldrachi’s condition at the time of the crash was “apparently ill.” He was not wearing his seat belt, according to the report.
Baldrachi was a Pearl Harbor survivor.
He was in the U.S. Army, but he was at the naval base visiting a friend when the Japanese launched a sneak attack on December 7, 1941. Baldrachi immediately jumped into action. He showed the sailors he was with how to put machine guns together and how to fire them at the Japanese planes.
He was honored last year for his bravery during the attack, which launched the United States into World War II.
12/7/2015 Related Story: Oklahoma Veteran Recognized On 74th Anniversary Of Pearl Harbor Attack