Toddler Killed In Crash Near Preston

Monday, February 9th 2009, 7:31 am
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

PRESTON, OK - Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers say the last two and a half weeks on area roads are a tragic reminder about the importance of keeping kids safe on area roads.  That's after three children were injured in a wreck along Highway 20 in Skiatook.  A nine-year-old boy was run over and killed in Creek County a few days ago.  And, a two-year-old boy is dead after a weekend wreck in Okmulgee County.       

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says Saturday evening; an SUV went out of control on a curve, ran off the road and hit a dirt embankment.  It overturned on its passenger side, throwing a two-year-old boy from the vehicle.

"Driver had made statements that there was a deer in the roadway that he was swerving to avoid a deer," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown.

Just after the wreck, the injured two year old, Thomas Ray Dunn, was taken to the Preston Volunteer Fire Department by a private vehicle.

"Kind of a unique set of circumstances in that they were at the Preston Fire Department, had been transported by a buddy the driver was following," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown.

An ambulance was called, but Dunn was dead on arrival at Okmulgee Memorial Hospital.

OHP says 41-year-old Thomas Dunn was driving the car when it crashed.  The highway patrol says they couldn't find him just after the crash, and he was last seen following along some nearby railroad tracks. 

He later called in to investigators.

"All the classic symptoms of shock.  This was a devastating crash in that the two year old was killed, so we can see that a traumatic event had occurred and the man had wandered off," said OHP Lt. George Brown.

Because of the shock, Dunn won't be charged with leaving the scene of an accident.  Investigators are now looking into whether a car seat met federal standards and if it was properly installed.

"We need to protect these children at all costs.  Use car seats.  Use them correctly," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown.

Find out more about car seat safety at the Safe Kids Oklahoma website.  You can also call Safe Kids Oklahoma at 494-SAFE.