Three die in fire crash near Wilburton

Sunday, November 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WILBURTON, Okla. (AP) _ Three people died Saturday after their pickup truck collided with a Savanna school bus, causing the bus to overturn and catch fire near Wilburton, authorities said.

Kizzie Renee Morman, Roy Crandell Hawkins and Morman's 2-year-old son, Gabriel, were pronounced dead at the scene of the 10:55 a.m. accident on U.S. 270 in Latimer County, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

At least one of the seven children on bus was hurt, but not seriously, troopers said. Some parents took their children to a nearby hospital for treatment for shock, the patrol said.

Kellen Hodgeson, 13, whose mother was driving the bus, received treatment for a minor head injury and was treated at McAlester Regional Health Center and released.

``All of the kids on the bus are physically OK. They're all shaken up and one boy was taken to the hospital for stitches, but other than that they're all OK,'' Savanna School Superintendent Mitch Tidwell said.

``The kids scrambled out of the back of the bus,'' OHP 2nd Lt. Jess Henry said. ``As far as I know, they all made it out without any other problems.''

The bus was taking the students to Eastern Oklahoma State College for an academic meet when the accident occurred, Tidwell said.

The truck was headed west on the highway when it blew a tire, troopers said. The vehicle strayed into the path of the eastbound bus, colliding with it head on.

The bus continued another 200 feet before hitting an embankment, flipping onto its side and catching fire, troopers said.

``It burned the whole front of the bus off,'' Henry said.

None of the five people riding in the truck were wearing seat belts, troopers said. Four of the five were thrown from the wreckage.

Morman's 22-year-old brother, Christopher Morman, was driving the truck. He was transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where he is listed in critical condition. Morman's other son, 6-month-old Dillon, also is in critical condition at St. Francis.

Ambulances and firefighters from four communities responded to the accident.