A Talala man pleaded guilty Thursday to driving drunk and other charges in a crash last year that seriously hurt a woman and her two young children.
Ronnie Paul Epperly, 41, pleaded guilty to child endangerment by driving under the influence, driving while under the influence, leaving the scene of an injury accident and no car insurance. Three of the charges are felonies, one is a misdemeanor.
The crash happened on Highway 169 south of Oologah on November 13, 2014. Cassidee Copeland was southbound in a car with her 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter when Epperly's minivan hit it.
Firefighters told the Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper who investigated the crash that they found Epperly and his 13-year-old son hiding in some bushes near the scene.
The trooper wrote in his report that Epperly failed a field sobriety test and blew a .324 on a portable breath test.
According to a copyright story in the Oologah Lake Leader, Epperly entered a blind plea, meaning there was no plea deal.
Copeland and her children were seriously hurt. Cassidee suffered a knee injury, her son a broken eye socket and her daughter two broken legs.
Epperly is set to be sentenced in November. He faces up to life in prison.
“We can finally close this chapter in our lives and move on, knowing that justice will be served. Sentencing will be November 9 almost one year to the day,” the Copelands told the Oologah Lake Leader.