Tulsa Woman's Death Tragic Reminder Of Highway Safety

Wednesday, December 15th 2010, 6:01 pm
By: News On 6

Tara Vreeland, News On 6

UNDATED – The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says Tuesday night's deadly auto-pedestrian accident on Highway 412 near Sand Springs is a tragedy that happens more often than it should.

Troopers say 43-year-old Shirley Clausen and 37-year-old Christopher Turner pulled off to the side of the road to fix a flat tire. OHP troopers say they were crossing the highway to get to a gas station when they were hit by a car.

12/14/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Woman Killed Crossing Highway West Of Sand Springs

Clausen died at the scene. Turner was treated and released from a Tulsa hospital.

"It boils down to when you are on a roadway on foot, that poses an extreme danger to you and those around you," said Lt. George Brown, Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Pedestrian accidents on Oklahoma highways kill an average of 48 people a year.

The OHP reports that in 2009, 32 people were killed. In 2007, Oklahoma saw the highest number of deaths, 67. There were 51 in 2005, 39 in 2003 and 49 people were killed in 2001.

In 2007, 29-year-old Norma Peach was killed when she tried to cross the interstate where I-44 and I-244 splits in east Tulsa.

3/15/2007 Related Story: Woman Killed In Traffic Mishap

In 2008, a man carrying food attempted to run across I-244 at Sheridan when he was struck and killed.

In 2009, Fourteen-year-old Jesse Goering died after he was hit by three vehicles in Owasso on Highway 169 between 76th Street North and 86th Street North.

2/15/2009 Related Story: Police Identify Owasso Teen Killed On U.S. 169

And a Texas police officer died last month when he was hit near Eufaula. Officer Patrick Sirois stopped to help another driver on the side of the road.

11/24/2010 Related Story: Texas Police Officer Killed In Oklahoma While Helping Stranded Driver

"We see it a lot, but when it's one of your own, it's something different," said Trooper Burkley Cash. "I can only imagine his character. Someone willing to give his life like that to help someone else."

Clausen is sadly, the latest statistic.

"A lot of people misjudge distances," Lt. Brown said.

OHP says the speed limit is 70 miles an hour on that stretch of highway in Sand Springs where Clausen was hit. A car going that speed covers 100 feet per second.

Troopers say it's best to stay in your vehicle and call for help. Either star 55, 911 or a tow truck. If you must get out of your car, they say exit on the passenger side. Troopers also say drivers need to be aware of the surroundings, switch lanes if you see a car on the side of the road and slow down.