Friends Speak Out On Deadly Motorcycle Crash

Tuesday, April 22nd 2008, 5:20 pm
By: News On 6

Friends of Tulsa woman who died in a motorcycle crash are speaking out about the sorry state of Tulsa roads.  Tammy Guthery died Sunday night when the motorcycle she was riding on hit a bump on I-244, causing her husband to lose control of the bike.  News On 6 anchor Scott Thompson reports Tammy Guthery's husband survived the crash.  And, his friends say what happened to them could happen to anyone if something isn't done about Oklahoma roads.

"I don't have a friend in the world that's a better friend to me than John and Tammy," said Paul Rogers.

They were a couple who loved to ride, even getting married while sitting on a Harley. According to friends, John Guthery and his wife, Tammy, were the perfect match.

"She was always the life of the event. She was always laughing.  She was always upbeat.  She was always fun," said Paul Rogers.

Tammy Guthery died Sunday night when the motorcycle she was riding with John flipped. Police say the couple hit a bump on the I-244 on ramp at Sheridan Road.

"I don't know if it was the pothole or the lump that caused it. I think it was actually that big mound of concrete from an improper road repair," said Paul Rogers.

"I-244 is not doing so well.  It's, more or less, falling apart," said Guy Berry, an Oklahoma Department of Transportation Commissioner.

Berry admits I-244 is a big trouble spot in Tulsa.

The highway was most recently re-paved eight years ago. The look of the fresh asphalt then is much different than the look today.

Drivers are forced to navigate potholes and pieces of the crumbling roadway. Commissioner Berry says O-DOT can fix potholes all day, but he calls that just a band-aid. A long-term fix, he says, would cost more than $500 million.

"Quite frankly, our department is short of money and the real kind of fixes that we need are not available to us right now," said Guy Berry.

Paul Rogers wants roads to be a bigger priority. He says out-of-state customers to his motorcycle shop say it all the time.

"But, the first things that comes out of people's mouths is, 'You have the worst roads we've ever seen,'" said Paul Rogers.

He just hopes it doesn't take another lost life to fix the problem.

Funeral arrangements for Tammy Guthery are still being made.  John Guthery is expected to get out of the hospital this week.  He's a photojournalist at KJRH, and our thoughts are with him and his family.

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04/21/2008 Woman Injured In Motorcycle Crash Dies