6 students killed in Oklahoma crash were in car that seats 4

Mar 23, 2022, 6:38 AM | Updated: 9:50 pm
In this image provided by KFOR-TV, a heavily damaged vehicle is seen off a road in Tishomingo, Okla...

In this image provided by KFOR-TV, a heavily damaged vehicle is seen off a road in Tishomingo, Okla., following a two-vehicle collision in which six teenage students were killed, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (NewsNation KFOR via AP)

(NewsNation KFOR via AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Six teenage girls on a high school lunch break were killed when their small car with only four seats collided with a large truck hauling rocks, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Wednesday.

The crash occurred shortly after noon Tuesday in Tishomingo, a rural city of about 3,000 located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Oklahoma City, the patrol said. Those killed included the 16-year-old driver, three 15-year-olds, and two 17-year-old passengers, according to the patrol.

While what led to the crash is unknown, it highlighted concerns of teenagers carrying other young passengers.

“Just adding a single passenger under age 21 increases the risk of crashing by 44%” when the driver is a teen,” said William Van Tassel with AAA’s national office.

The crash report, released Wednesday morning, said the circumstances of the wreck remained under investigation. But Highway Patrol Trooper Shelby Humphrey said Tuesday night that the girls’ car was making a right turn when it collided with the truck, KXII-TV reported.

“One of the main concerns and risks of having multiple teenagers in a car is the distractions that come with that,” Van Tassel said.

“If one of the passengers is over 35 (the risk) goes down by 62%. That implies teens can drive safely when there’s an adult in the car,” Van Tassel told The Associated Press.

Only the 16-year-old driver and front-seat passenger were wearing seat belts when the 2015 Chevrolet Spark collided with the truck, according to the Highway Patrol.

“The unbelted people put everyone at risk,” Van Tessel said. “In a crash, the unbuckled people fly around all over the place,” injuring others inside the vehicle.

Oklahoma is the only state where passengers who are older than 7 years old and in the back seat of a car do not have to wear a seat belt, said Leslie Gamble, the manger of public and government relations for AAA-Oklahoma.

“A 41-member coalition of traffic safety advocates has pushed for a bill to be passed by our state legislators for the past three years without success,” Gamble said

The crash occurred about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Tishomingo High School.

Students in the district of about 850 students were in class Wednesday, Tishomingo Public School Superintendent Bobby Waitman said.

“Academics are secondary, frankly, at this point to the students knowing that they belong, that they have a safe place,” Waitman said.

“You’ll never fully understand, I don’t think we’ll ever fully understand a loss like this,” Waitman added.

The girls’ names weren’t released because they are juveniles.

The Highway Patrol identified the driver of the truck as Valendon Burton, 51, of Burneyville, Oklahoma. The report said Burton was not injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team, according to NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson.

Waitman said funerals for the students were not yet scheduled and that the district would work with their families to potentially schedule a memorial service on campus.

The crash happened one week after nine people were killed — including six members of a New Mexico college’s golf team and their coach — died in a crash in West Texas. In that crash, the NTSB determined that a 13-year-old boy was behind the wheel of a truck when it blew a tire and struck the van carrying University of the Southwest students.

___

Associated Press writers Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - The seal of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System is displayed ...
Associated Press

Wyoming crypto bank’s Federal Reserve application denied

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Federal Reserve Board has denied a Wyoming cryptocurrency bank’s application for Federal Reserve System membership, officials announced Friday, dealing a setback to the crypto industry’s attempts to build acceptance in mainstream U.S. banking. Many in crypto have been looking to Cheyenne-based Custodia Bank’s more than 2-year-old application as a bellwether […]
17 hours ago
In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Senior Airmen Andrew Whitener and Tyler Glodgett 341s...
Associated Press

Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of launch officers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of officers who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained […]
17 hours ago
FILE - An Amazon Fresh grocery store stands in Warrington, Pa., on Feb. 4, 2022. In an email to Pri...
Associated Press

Amazon axes free grocery delivery on Prime orders under $150

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is axing free grocery delivery for Prime members on orders less than $150. Customers who get their groceries delivered from Amazon Fresh — and pay less than $150 — will be charged between $3.95 and $9.95, depending on the order size, the company said in an email to Prime members […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Fireworks explode over the ancient Parthenon temple at the Acropolis hill during New Year ce...
Associated Press

Fitch ups Greece’s rating to a notch below investment grade

NEW YORK (AP) — Credit ratings company Fitch has raised Greece’s credit rating to one notch below investment grade. In a report issued Friday, Fitch estimates that Greece’s deficit will shrink to 1.8% of its gross domestic product in 2024 from an estimated 3.8% last year. “There is some uncertainty around fiscal policies after the […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt speaks during an interview in Tokyo, Thursday, Dec. 1, ...
Associated Press

Usain Bolt fires business manager over Jamaica fraud case

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt told reporters Friday that he is baffled over how $12.7 million of his money has gone missing from a local private investment firm that authorities are investigating as part of a massive fraud that began more than a decade ago. Bolt also said he has […]
17 hours ago
This image taken from video provided by the NAOJ & Asahi Shimbun, shows spiral swirling through the...
Associated Press

Camera captures night sky spiral after SpaceX rocket launch

HONOLULU (AP) — A camera atop Hawaii’s tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky. Researchers believe it shows the aftereffects of a SpaceX rocket launch when the company’s Falcon 9 rocket sent a GPS satellite into orbit. The images were captured on Jan. 18 by a camera at […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
6 students killed in Oklahoma crash were in car that seats 4