Creek County Grass Fire Continues, Second Wreck Reported


Monday, July 23rd 2012, 3:41 pm
By: Dee Duren


A fire northwest of Bristow is proving to be deadly, but it's not the flames that are taking people's lives.

Sunday, a mini-van and fire truck collided on Highway 16. That crash killed two people.

Monday, a different fire truck hit a pickup truck.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol was forced to shut down the highway, as a plume of smoke made it difficult to see the road ahead.

Firefighters are battling an intense grass fire that started Friday.

So far, the flames have threatened about six homes and engulfed a barn.

Judy Powell owns around 700 acres of land that are in the fire's path.

"Right now, people are worried about their pastures," Powell said. "We're worried about our hay and we need rain."

Like many others, she was forced to turn around on Highway 16.

In the past two days, OHP has had to shut down parts of the highway.

On Sunday, 68-year-old Janey Wellington was driving a mini-van, when OHP says she abruptly slowed to turn left into a private driveway.

The van was hit by an Olive Fire Department truck that was trying to pass.

Wellington and her passenger, 72-year-old Tony Hammock, were pronounced dead at the scene.

7/23/2012 Related Story: OHP Releases Names Of Deceased In Creek County Van-Fire Truck Crash

"There's been so many fire trucks, pickups, utility trucks, everything coming through that it's really better not to have that traffic coming through," Powell said.

And Monday, OHP says a Drumright fire truck was backing up onto Highway 16 when the driver hit a pickup truck.

Although it was a minor accident, OHP shut down the highway for a few hours until the thick smoke could clear.

"I know it's an inconvenience for people to go on a county road, but it's much better to have an inconvenience than a wreck," Powell said.

Sunday's deadly accident is still under investigation.

Crews from Drumright, Olive, Bristow, Keifer and Sapulpa are all battling the fire.