Thursday, March 24, 2022, 11:45 p.m.
TISHOMINGO, Oklahoma –
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol released more information about a crash that killed six teenagers in Tishomingo on Tuesday.
You can read the full transcript below.
At approximately 12:30 p.m. on March 22, 2022, in Tishomingo, a 1994 Peterbilt tractor truck combined with a gravel-laden dump semi-trailer was traveling southbound on United States Highway 377 (US-377) as it approached the intersection of Oklahoma National Highway 22 (SH-22). At the same time, a 2015 Chevrolet Spark passenger vehicle, occupied by a teenage driver and five teenage passengers, was traveling eastbound on SH-22 as it approached US-377. At this location, the intersection is controlled by a stop sign regulating traffic on SH-22. The posted speed limit for US-377 is 50 mph.
The Tishomingo Police Department has asked the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Traffic Homicide Unit (THU) to investigate the collision. Members documented the scene with ground and aerial photos, and interviews were conducted. THU worked closely with Oklahoma Medical Examiner investigators to identify the victims and process next of kin notifications.
The vehicles were stored indoors and post collision inspections of both vehicles were conducted. An event data recorder has been removed, with consent, from the Chevrolet Spark. The data was imaged with software and a report was produced. Data from the event data recorder was consistent with witness statements.
Witnesses reported the Chevrolet pulled up behind another vehicle at the stop sign but did not pull itself to a stop at the stop sign and entered US-377 attempting to turn left . The combination vehicle struck the left front of the Chevrolet in the southbound lane, pushing it off the roadway to the southwest. The combination vehicle then left the roadway and came to a stop in a private driveway on the east side of US-377. As a result of the crash, all six occupants of the Chevrolet were killed; the truck driver was not injured.
A preliminary review of the case will be submitted to the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District for review.
In coordination with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Traffic Homicide Unit, the National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a team of four investigators and a family assistance specialist to Oklahoma on Wednesday, March 23. Investigators will consider the following questions:
Freeway — Environmental factors involved in an accident include road surface conditions, signage, freeway geometry, lighting, weather conditions, traffic volumes and accident history. The group also assesses road infrastructure for adequacy of roadside barriers and compliance with various design manuals.
Human Performance — The performance of the human operators involved in the accident and examines all “pre-accident” factors that could be involved in human error, including fatigue, medication, alcohol, drugs, medical history, training, workload, equipment design and work environment.
Motor carrier — The operations of the driver and motor carrier. This includes a review of the motor carrier’s compliance with applicable federal and/or state regulations and oversight of affected companies by federal and state authorities. Investigators may also review the carrier’s overall safety culture and related safety programs regarding driver operations, fatigue management, vehicle maintenance, and driver fitness for duty.
Reconstruction – Map and document the scene and vehicles involved in the accident and analyze physical evidence and vehicle damage to reconstruct the events of the accident.