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4 Killed in Oklahoma Bus Crash

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Jarod Cassidy3 years ago

Four members of a Gainesville college softball team were killed and a dozen other people were injured in Oklahoma Friday night when a semi truck slammed into the team’s bus.

Oklahoma Authorities Investigate Fatal Trucking Collision

The accident occurred on Interstate 35 just north of Ardmore, Oklahoma. Reuters reports that team was traveling back to North Central Texas College in Gainesville, Texas after playing a game at Sothern Nazarene University when the incident occurred.

Around 9 pm, a semi crossed the median and drifted into oncoming traffic, striking the bus head-on. Reports indicate that there was no evidence that the truck driver, 53-year-old Russell Staley, attempted to stop before hitting the bus.

Three members of the softball team were pronounced dead at the scene – a fourth player died after being transported to an area hospital. All other team members were hospitalized with minor to severe injuries.

According to Oklahoma Highway Patrol Captain Ronnie Hampton, Staley had told investigators that he was “distracted” just before the collision occurred, but authorities are still working to validate the statement.

Investigations into the accident are being conducted as a homicide. The investigation could run for up to 10 weeks.

U.S. Trucking Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • 3,921 people were killed in trucking accidents in 2012 – marking a 4 percent increase from the 3,781 deaths recorded in 2011.
  • Another 104,000 people were injured in trucking accidents in 2012.
  • Of those killed in trucking collisions in 2012:
    • 697 were occupants of large trucks.
    • 2,843 were occupants of other vehicles.
    • 381 were non-occupants including pedestrians and bicyclists.


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