By Chris Wright, The News On 6
MIAMI, OK -- The man authorities say is responsible for the deadliest crash in Oklahoma history now faces negligent homicide charges.
Donald Creed, 76, was driving the tractor-trailer that rear-ended several cars on June 26 on the Will Rogers Turnpike near the Miami exit. Ten people were killed.
Creed is charged with ten counts of negligent homicide, one for each person authorities say he is responsible for killing.
The traffic accident happened in clear weather, on a dry road. The ten victims were all in cars that had stopped on the Turnpike. Traffic was backed up because of another accident.
That's when authorities say Creed's Truck plowed into, and ended up on top of, several vehicles. Investigators say Creed never slowed down.
"There is no indication whatsoever by physical evidence of eyewitnesses that he took any evasive action. Try to slow down, hit the brakes on his truck at all. He basically plowed everyone at 70 miles an hour," said Eddie Wyant, Ottawa County DA.
Ottawa County District Attorney Eddie Wyant filed the charges Monday. He says there will be no manslaughter charges because there is no evidence that Creed was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But he says there is also no evidence that confirms Creed's version of events.
The affidavit for his arrest indicates Creed told investigators:
"he did not know what happened"
"thought he was hit in the rear, or cars drove up under him" and
"was insistent that he was not moving"
"The whole thing is a tragedy. You lose 10 people from the carelessness of one driver," said Eddie Wyant.
Wyant says there is little precedent for a case like this one. To his knowledge, no single driver in Oklahoma has ever been charged with this many misdemeanors because of one accident.
"I can't think of one in which there's been 10 charges for one person like this," said Eddie Wyant.
Unprecedented charges for an unprecedented accident.
Each negligent homicide charge carries a maximum sentence of one year.
Wyant says Creed has agreed to turn himself in to Ottawa County authorities Wednesday morning. Creed lives in southwest Missouri.
Calls to Creed's lawyer were not returned Monday afternoon.