Clean Record For Turnpike Crash Semi Driver

Monday, June 29th 2009, 4:58 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

MIAMI, OK -- The News On 6 is learning new information about the truck driver involved in Friday's fatal Will Rogers Turnpike crash near Miami. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is calling the accident one of the deadliest car crashes in the state's history.

OHP said Donald Creed, 76, drove his tractor-trailer into a line of stopped cars on I-44 Friday afternoon.

The accident killed 10 people.

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Donald Creed is employed by Associated Wholesale Grocers. AWG employs 316 drivers. Missouri officials said Creed has maintained a clean record for almost two decades.

Troopers said 76-year-old Donald Creed was solely responsible for the wreck and there's no evidence he tried to stop.

"Mr. Creed does have a clean driving record with no violations," said Ted Farnen, Missouri Department of Revenue.

Creed carries a Class A Commercial License with no restrictions. He has been licensed to drive big rigs for 18 years.

"He has not had any moving violations or been convicted of anything like a DWI or any other major traffic offense," said Farnen.

Creed also carries an up-to-date Department of Transportation Health Card. That requires a physical exam, done every two years.

"They don't have an established medical history or any diagnosis of heart disease, high blood pressure, epilepsy or alcoholism, they can see with 20/40 vision," said Deanne Rickabaugh, Missouri Motor Carrier Services.

Creed renewed his license on April 1st.

"They have to come in and take the road sign recognition and vision test and they have to do that in person," said Ted Farnen.

Ted Farnen said people shouldn't make assumptions about Creed's advanced age.

"I think if you look in any state's licensing procedure, you will see drivers with problems and the driver is only 45 or 50 years old, and drivers who are over the age of 70 with clean records," said Farnen.

Managers at Associated Wholesale Grocers said Creed was an experienced driver with an impeccable record.

The company released this statement:

"Our hearts and prayers pour out to the families and loved ones who died in the accident, to all those who were injured, their families and loved ones, as well as our driver and his family."

Four people were hospitalized with injuries after the crash. Two have been released and one has passed away.

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Jessica Salazar, a spokesman for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, said Andrea Reyes of Phoenix is now listed in fair condition.

Andrea had initially been listed in critical condition after the crash on Friday afternoon. Her parents, Ricardo Reyes and Ernestina Reyes, died in the accident.

6/29/2009  Related Story: Young Turnpike Crash Victim's Condition Improving