One person is dead and several injured following a series of collisions that took place at about 9:40 p.m. Friday on the Will Rogers Turnpike near Catoosa. Seven vehicles in all were involved in the chain-reaction wrecks, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Troopers say a Ford Taurus was disabled after striking the center median wall of westbound I-44 at mile marker 247 in Rogers County. The occupants of the Ford had gotten out of the car when it was struck by a Nissan pickup driven by a Missouri man.
Gerald Bruce, 27, was driving the pickup and attempted to avoid the disabled car but hit the Ford and propelling it in passenger Joyce M. Kapcsos, 25, of Miami, according to Captain Scott Horton of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Kapcsos was taken to a Tulsa hospital where she died of massive injuries, according to the trooper's report.
The Ford was pushed into a ditch, and the Nissan came to rest several feet west of where the Taurus had been parked.
A few minutes after the first collision, a semi trailer truck driver hit several vehicles that had pulled over to the side of the highway.
Troopers say Vatchagan Torosian of California was driving too fast for conditions in a 2007 Freightliner when he plowed into the back of some cars stopped by the original accident. Torosian, 50, swerved to the right and hit a Dodge pickup, a Nissan van, a Hyundai and another Nissan.
Joshua Wiedyk of Lawton was driving the Nissan van. He and his wife had pulled over to help the stalled Taurus when the semi came through and struck the van.
Wiedyk told News On 6 that he had two children in car seats inside the car when it was struck. He ran to the car and found 1-year-old Aiden uninjured and 6-year-old Austin with a possible broken leg.
Austin Wiedyk was taken by medical helicopter to a Tulsa hospital where he is said to be stable with leg and internal injuries. He is expected to be OK.
No one else was injured in the second, five-car crash.
The driver of the disabled Ford Taurus that was originally stalled out on the turnpike, 21-year-old Brad C. Evans of Miami, was treated and released at a Tulsa hospital as was his other passenger, 24-year-old Lesheay White of Miami.
Troopers say the drivers involved in the wrecks were in apparently normal condition at the time of the collisions. Everyone inside the vehicles was wearing a seat belt or in a car seat, according to the collision reports.