An off-duty Tulsa police detective who watched a deadly wrong-way crash unfold on the Broken Arrow Expressway early Wednesday says it was one of the worst things he's ever seen.
Homicide Detective Jason White has witnessed some gruesome and heartbreaking scenes in his career, but this one, he said, was "horrific."
"It was a very helpless feeling because unfortunately, I knew that somebody may come around that corner," White said.
White said he had worked late at the office and was headed home, eastbound on the Broken Arrow Expressway near the intersection with Interstate 44 at around 12:30 a.m. He spotted a car also headed east in the westbound lanes. Police said that car was driven by John Freeman, 25, of Tulsa.
White said Freeman was going the wrong way. White was driving an unmarked car, but he tried to get Freeman's attention by turning on his emergency lights, flashing his headlights, honking his horn and even rolling down the window and yelling at Freeman to pull over.
White said Freeman was talking on a cell phone and looked directly at him but kept on driving.
"He did finally look over at me and saw that I was there and I was yelling at him. And I could tell he was looking right at me. And he basically just looked away and continued at that speed," said White.
Three minutes later, Freeman's car crashed head-on into a westbound car driven by O.Z. Walker, 64, of Tulsa. The impact killed Walker instantly.
"It was unbelievable, unbelievable, deafening sound. And it was just a horrific, horrific situation," White said.
Tulsa police believe Freeman's injuries are non-life threatening, although he's still in the hospital.
They said it appears alcohol was involved, but they're still waiting on toxicology reports.