Stigler Truck Driver Appears On Manslaughter Charge

Monday, September 25th 2006, 6:06 am
By: News On 6

STIGLER, Okla. (AP) -- A Stigler truck driver makes a court appearance on a first-degree manslaughter charge connected to a fatal accident in April.

A warrant charging 36-year-old Brian -L- Woodruff was filed in July but Woodruff didn't appear in court until Thursday.

Woodruff is accused of being under the influence of an intoxicating substance while driving a tractor-trailer when he allegedly caused an accident that killed 49-year-old Gowen resident Jon Dee Smith on April 15th.

Besides manslaughter, Woodruff was also charged with making an improper turn into a private drive, a misdemeanor.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Woodruff and Smith were driving west on US Highway 270 when Woodruff tried to turn off the highway about eight miles west of McAlester.

When he did so, he swung briefly into the eastbound lane of the roadway and Smith's pickup truck smashed into the semi's trailer, just in front of the trailer's dual wheels.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

First-degree manslaughter is punishable upon conviction by imprisonment for a minimum of four years.