Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Uninjured After Motorcycle Crash

Friday, May 21st 2010, 9:24 am
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper is recovering at home after being forced to lay down his motorcycle Friday morning.

Lieutenant Ward Oliphant was tracking down a speeder on his new high-speed Interceptor when the accident happened.

It's the same motorcycle The News On 6 profiled last weekend and now it's out of commission.

Lieutenant Ward Oliphant was tracking down a speeding car on his new high-powered, ultra-fast sports motorcycle on Highway 169 Friday morning.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says he was going less than 55 miles an hour when a pickup began to change lanes in front of him.

"He flashed his lights, hit his siren and everything else trying to get that person's attention," said Trooper Matt Hughart, Oklahoma Highway Patrol. "They looked on and continued on into the lane."

Oliphant had no choice but to lay down his motorcycle causing him to slide close to 150 feet.

"Minor injuries on his arm, a little road rash, and on his legs but, luckily, the safety gear he was wearing absorbed a lot of it so his legs are going to be fine but his pants got tore up pretty good," Trooper Hughart said.

Troopers say Oliphant was saved from more serious injuries because of the equipment he was wearing, a specially reinforced helmet, kevlar padded pants, and a jacket with armored plates in the back and on the elbows.

"They're not very big, they're not very bulky and they actually just cup around you so if you did go down that's what is hitting instead of just you hitting which the jackets can also protect you as well," said Megan Henderson, Myers-Duren Harley Davidson.

The motorcycle didn't fare as well and was heavily damaged. Just last weekend, The News On 6 got an up close look at the Interceptor. It can go as fast as 200 miles-per-hour and OHP touts it as its newest weapon to fight crime.

"This is great,"Lieutenant Oliphant has said. "This is kind of like the Ferrari of motorcycles."

OHP is still looking for the driver that caused the accident. They say the vehicle is a newer model White Chevy extended, or quad, cab pickup.

5/16/2010 Related story: OHP Hopes New Motorcycle Aids Fight Against Reckless Drivers