Truck-train accident in Atoka County kills three

Monday, July 15th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STRINGTOWN, Okla. (AP) _ A freight train slammed into a dump truck Monday and dragged it down the tracks, killing three people, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

The accident killed the driver of the truck, Harold Lee Coates, and a two-man prison work crew in the vehicle. Coates, 52, of Atoka, worked for the state Wildlife Department.

The inmates killed in the accident were identified as Danny R. Swindler, 45, and Antonio G. Estrada, 41. They were inmates at the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown.

Troopers said Coates was driving a state-owned dump truck on an Atoka County road just before 9 a.m. when a southbound Union Pacific train hit the truck and dragged it about 200 yards. Coates and Estrada were thrown about 10 feet from the truck.

Jerry Massie, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Corrections Department, said Swindler and Estrada were minimum security inmates assigned to work in a nearby wildlife refuge. Massie said the truck was carrying a load of gravel.