Bartlesville couple killed in US Highway 75 traffic accident

Tuesday, February 8th 2005, 6:26 pm
By: News On 6

A deadly traffic accident Tuesday evening on US highway 75 south of Bartlesville.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a car missed a bridge, drove down the median and into the Caney River below. The river carried the car to the other side of the bridge before rescuers arrived.

OHP troopers say Dale and Nancy Zellers' car went completely underwater. Recovery crews worked for more than four hours Tuesday night in the rain and near freezing temperatures and were on the scene again Wednesday, gathering information they couldn't in the dark.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says even though it was raining Tuesday night, the Highway Patrol says it doesn't think road conditions played a role in the accident. Troopers on the scene say the car's path is consistent with a medical complication.

Trooper Mitch Miller says both Dale and Nancy Zellers were diabetic and that Dale also had a heart condition. Miller says drivers often swerve to the left when they have a heart attack, because the left side of their body is in so much pain. Investigators say the impact from hitting the riverbed was enough cause the couple serious injuries and major damage to the car, preventing them from escaping.

OHP trooper Mitch Miller: "The roofline came down onto them and kinda in between them and it creased the vehicle pretty good.”

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol was out Wednesday recreating the scene, trying to learn more about this crash.

The Zellers have four children. Three are in college, living in Norman and Stillwater. The youngest goes to Bartlesville High School.