Friday Turnpike Crash Claims 10th Victim

Saturday, June 27th 2009, 11:53 am
By: News On 6

MIAMI, OK -- A major crash Friday on the Will Rogers Turnpike near Miami has claimed another life, bringing the total number of those who have died to 10.

Shelby Hayes, 35, of Frisco, Texas, was transported by Med-Flight to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri where she was admitted in critical condition with head, internal and external injuries.

A spokesperson from the hospital tells The News On 6 Hayes has now died. She died at 7:00 Sunday morning.

The spokesperson said Hayes' family was by her side at the time of her death.

Shelby Hayes' husband, 38-year-old Randall Hayes, and her son, seven-year-old Ethan Hayes, died at the scene of the accident. Her mother, Cynthia Olson, 55, was a passenger in the car and also died at the scene.

On Saturday, the names of the victims who were killed at the scene were released by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Troopers are calling it the deadliest crash in Oklahoma's history.

The Highway Patrol says at about 1:16 p.m. Friday, traffic was stopped on the eastbound lanes of U.S. I-44 because of one accident when a semi slammed into at least three cars, causing them to crash into more. Troopers don't believe the semi driver tried to stop before the crash.

The driver, 76-year-old Donald Creed of Willard, Missouri, was admitted in good condition with head and trunk injuries to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri. OHP says at the time of the crash he was in "apparently normal" condition with no sign of drugs or alcohol and he was not using a cell phone.

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"A semi coming eastbound, a tractor trailer, failed to slow for that crash and struck several vehicles," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown.

The wrecker who helped hoist the semi off of three cars said the scene looked like a war zone.

"There's a debris field at least 100 yards long, covering all lanes of eastbound traffic," said Lt. Brown.

Twisted metal, scraps of plastic and clothes were spread out the length of a football field.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said traffic was at a standstill at the section of I-44 near Miami when the semi smashed into the line of cars.

"We are not seeing much evidence of any breaking from the driver of the tractor trailer now," said Lt. Brown.

The speed limit on that stretch of highway is 75 mph.

The semi ended up on top of three vehicles. Some SUVs were crushed beyond recognition.

A 12-year-old girl was trapped in one car with her dead parents.

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"It was bad; it was bad. It was the worst thing I'd ever seen. It was terrible," said Bob Garner, Garner Garage & Wrecker.

Dead are:

Ricardo Reyes, a 39-year-old male from Phoenix, Arizona, who died at the scene. His wife, Ernestina Reyes, age unknown, died at the scene after being pinned for about four hours.

Randall Hayes, 38, from Frisco, Texas, was pinned for about nine hours and died at the scene of the accident. His son, seven-year-old Ethan Hayes, also of Frisco, died at the scene. Shelby Hayes, 35, of Frisco, Texas, was transported by Med-Flight to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri where she was admitted in critical condition with head, internal and external injuries. She died at 7:00 Sunday morning.

Cynthia Olson, 55-year-old female from Crossroads, Texas, was pinned for about nine hours and died at the scene.

From Oklahoma City: Oral Hooks, 69-year-old male; Earlene Hooks, a 63-year-old female; Antonio Hooks, a 42-year-old male, and Dione Hooks, a 41-year-old male, died at the scene.

"It just looked like a bomb. Just stuff scattered everywhere, just everywhere," said Garner.

Bob Garner says it was the worst crash he has ever seen.

"Cars and people everywhere," said Garner.

He used three wreckers to hoist up the tractor-trailer. That process took more than two hours.

"We didn't want it to tip over, because there was a live person sitting over here, and you know, we couldn't go the other way because there was someone over in that corner alive, so we literally just had to pick it up and pull the people out from underneath it," said Garner.

Garner says he hasn't been able to sleep.

Bob Garner says an inspector from the U.S. Department of Transportation is on his way from Washington D.C. to investigate the semi and try to piece together what happened that led to the deadliest crash in state history.

Twelve-year-old Andrea Reyes was flown to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas in critical condition with multiple injuries.

Others accident victims include Synthia Tate, 52, of Waynesville, Missouri, transported by Eagle Med to Freeman Hospital in Joplin in good condition. Her grandchildren, Dillon Tate, age five, and Amy Tate, age six, were uninjured.

Jimmy Davis, 42, of Walters, Oklahoma and Taylor Davis, a 12-year-old female from Walters, were in a pickup hauling a 16-foot stock trailer loaded with sheep. They were not injured.

Larry Smith, 40, of Tulsa, was uninjured. Marcella Smith 62, of Tulsa, was admitted to Freeman Hospital with a head injury. She was listed in good condition. Also in the Smith's vehicle were Hayley Nonlan, 13, of Tulsa and Delainie Degrasse, 11, of Jenks. They were both uninjured.

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Video from SkyNews6 showed the semi sitting on top of a minivan and another smaller car. Rescue crews were using three wreckers to try to pull the truck off of the smaller vehicles. Miami and Quapaw Fire Departments worked to free the victims.