Six killed in I-35 collision identified

Sunday, August 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PURCELL, Okla. (AP) _ Six people were killed, including five members of a Nebraska family, and two others were seriously injured Saturday in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 35.

Construction work on the northbound lanes of I-35 may have contributed to the collision shortly after 3 p.m., according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers.

Troopers identify the dead as Rodney Johnson, 35, and Amy Johnson, 32, both of Fremont, Neb. The couple's son and two daughters also died. They are Alyssa Johnson, 12; Sheldon Johnson, 8; and Mariah Johnson, 6.

A Tishomingo, Okla., woman riding in a separate vehicle was also killed. She is identified as Peggy Howard, 40.

The collision occurred when a tractor-trailer truck slammed into the rear of the Johnsons' sport utility vehicle, troopers said. The Johnsons were pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck traveled another 120 feet and struck a car driven by Katherine Cremona, 40, of Tishomingo. That crash killed Howard, investigators said.

Cremona was in serious condition Sunday at University Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

The driver of the truck, Raymond Box, 40, of Lonoke, Ark., is in fair condition at the hospital.

The truck belonged to B&D Transports of Benton, Ark., and was carrying a load of peaches. Box was expected to be tested for alcohol and drugs, authorities said.

All three vehicles were traveling northbound in a single lane of traffic because of road construction. Troopers said it appeared the sport utility vehicle and car had slowed down or stopped in the roadway when they were struck.