Survivor Tells Of Inspiring Band Director Killed In Creek Turnpike Wreck

Monday, October 14th 2013, 4:14 pm
By: Craig Day

The survivor of a wreck that killed his close friend, talks about the death of inspiring young band director. Zachary Roddy, 27, was killed in a weekend wreck on the Creek Turnpike.

The passenger in his car who survived the wreck says Roddy had a special way of getting young music students to be their best, while instilling a lifelong love of music and learning into them.

Peter Hilborn is recovering from physical wounds after a weekend crash, but the emotional healing will take some time.

"The back of our car just fishtailed this way, and that's when I looked up; it just happened so fast," Hilborn said.

The wreck at about 1 a.m. Saturday killed Hilborn's close friend, co-worker, and roommate, Zach Roddy. Roddy, who was driving, wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

"The trooper tells me that we flipped three times and then hit the wall, based on the marks on the grass," Hilborn said.

Roddy and Hilborn both work for the Bentonville High School band program. After their Friday night football game, they were heading to Tulsa, to work with several area schools on their marching competition routines the next day.

10/13/2013 Related Story: Community Mourns Former Tulsa Teacher Killed In Creek Turnpike Wreck

"After we went off the road it was just a big blur," said Peter Hilborn, wreck survivor.

The car ran off the Creek Turnpike near 161st East Avenue, hitting a culvert. Investigators aren't sure yet why Roddy lost control.

Hilborn was able to climb out despite a partially collapsed lung, broken sternum and other injuries. 

"I don't think I'll ever get past something like this. I don't think I'll get past losing Zach Roddy," he said.

Zach Roddy was an Assistant Band Director in Bentonville, but worked for several years until last June as Jazz and Orchestra director for Tulsa School for Arts and Sciences. 

"He found a way to inspire, and to really push people to their best and not have it be a task," said his friend, co-worker and roommate, Peter Hilborn.

During his young career, Roddy had also worked with competition bands in Owasso, Coweta, Bixby, Verdigris and Tahlequah.

"Roddy was the best at that; he was the best at getting that thing, or that passion about music out of people," Hilborn said.

Hilborn says his friend brought that passion, and happiness everywhere he went.

A funeral for Roddy is being held in Burkburnett Texas on Wednesday. Another service will likely be held next week in the Tulsa area at the Jazz Hall of Fame.