Cops Offer Update on 'Absolute Travesty' That Killed 6 Teens

Oklahoma Highway Patrol says car carrying Tishomingo girls didn't stop at stop sign
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2022 11:49 AM CDT
Cops: Teens in Fatal Oklahoma Crash Didn't Stop for Stop Sign
The heavily damaged vehicle in which six teenage students were killed on Tuesday is seen in Tishomingo, Okla., following a two-vehicle collision.   (NewsNation KFOR via AP)

The compact car that collided with a tractor-trailer in Oklahoma earlier this week, killing six teen girls, didn't yield to a stop sign before the accident, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Thursday. In a summary of its probe into the deadly crash in Tishomingo, the OHP said the semi-trailer filled with gravel was headed south on US 377 around 12:30pm Tuesday when it collided with the 2015 Chevrolet Spark, which had been heading east on State Highway 22 before attempting to turn north onto 377, reports KFOR. "Witnesses reported the Chevrolet stopped behind another vehicle at the stop sign but did not itself stop at the stop sign, and entered US-377 attempting a left turn," the OHP report noted.

The Chevy Spark, which is designed to seat only four, was pushed off the road by the tractor-trailer, which itself went off the highway and ended up in a private driveway, per the summary. Investigators say the 16-year-old driver of the Chevy Spark, two 15-year-old passengers, and one 17-year-old passenger died at the scene. Two other passengers, ages 15 and 17, were pronounced dead at a local hospital. Only the driver and front-seat passenger were wearing seatbelts, per a report from an OHP trooper. The tractor-trailer's driver was said to have been uninjured. Locals tell KXII that the intersection where the crash took place has long been a problem spot. The highways both have a speed limit of 50mph, and there's a sharp bend in the southbound lane of 377 right before it reaches the intersection.

"I've always said they needed some kind of signal there, it's just too dangerous," one Tishomingo woman says. The Oklahoman—which reports that the OHP's Traffic Homicide Unit, in conjunction with the National Transportation Safety Board, is still conducting an investigation that could take weeks—notes the six girls all attended Tishomingo High School and that the tragedy has rocked the small, close-knit town. "It's rough," an emotional Johnston County Sheriff Gary Dodd tells the paper. "We do see a lot of death, unfortunately, but to see children that have suffered that type of trauma, it's raw. It hurts, no matter who you are. To lose six in one scene is an absolute travesty." (Read more Oklahoma stories.)

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