Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Killed In Traffic Accident

Sunday, October 1st 2006, 6:33 pm
By: News On 6

The investigation into the death of an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper killed Sunday afternoon near Claremore continues.

Trooper William McClendon had been with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for 8 years. He leaves behind a wife, and three children - 17, 13, and 10 years old. He died when he was crushed inside his car by a semi-truck on the Will Rogers Turnpike. The semi driver also died.

Troopers on the scene told News on 6 reporter Joshua Brakhage, it was next to impossible to treat it like any other accident.

The emotion was evident the first time the News on 6 talked with OHP Lieutenant Eddie Kirkland. "Unfortunately, that trooper has expired here at the scene. The truck driver that was involved in this accident with him has expired also at the hospital in Tulsa."

Trooper William McClendon was killed when his cruiser was crushed beneath an 18-wheeler. Skid marks swerve across the road, and shattered glass marked the point of impact. Investigators interviewed witnesses and took careful measurements, trying to reconstruct the scene.

OHP trooper Kera Philippi: "They want to make sure they do a thorough job and make sure they find out what did happen."

But answers don't come quickly. Troopers don't expect to know exactly what happened until sometime this week.

Traffic on the Will Rogers Turnpike was backed up for miles after the accident Sunday afternoon. The eastbound lanes of the turnpike were closed for nearly seven hours.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is asking for help to piece together the accident. Anyone who witnessed the wreck or stopped to help on the scene is asked to give them a call. Their number is 918-627-0440 or toll-free at 866-OHP-tips.