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UPDATE: Fatal Accident on HWY 58

Posted: Updated:

COMANCHE CO., Okla_ 7News is continuing coverage of Wednesday's fatal crash along Highway 58, not far from the one that killed a teenager just last week.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has identified the victim as 72 year-old Clarence Hardzog, Jr. of Elgin. Wednesday's accident happened just before 11:00 a.m. near the intersection of Northwest Wolf Road and Highway 58. The OHP said a woman driving a red minivan on Wolf Road failed to yield at a stop sign and turned into the road.

She broadsided a truck driving northbound on Highway 58, causing the truck to roll several times into a nearby embankment. The collision resulted in Hardzog being ejected from the cab and dying at the scene.

OHP said it's still too early in the investigation to tell what the driver of the minivan was doing or thinking, as she drove into the road. Some ODOT workers were mowing grass less than 30 feet from the accident. However, OHP could not confirm whether the minivan driver's eyes were on the mowers or the traffic.

OHP Trooper Will Hayden said for his department to see an accident near this intersection usually means the damage will be extensive.

"If we do see an accident, it's usually pretty serious, because it's a pretty good road," Hayden said. "People drive pretty fast on it, normally."

Hayden said it's too early in the investigation to tell how fast the driver of the minivan was going when she T-boned the truck. Most witnesses at the scene say they arrived after the collision occurred.

One couple said they were driving eastbound on Northwest Wolf Road and stopped right after the accident happened. Once they got closer, they say the saw the driver of the minivan standing outside of it. They checked to make sure she was alright. Then, they checked on the driver of the truck, which was located just beyond that embankment. Unfortunately, he didn't make it.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation's Lisa Neibauer said workers mowing grass near the intersection heard the sounds of metal crushing, rushed to the scene and called 911.

She said had they been any closer to the wreck, they too could have been injured.

"They could have very easily been involved in the accident," Neibauer said. "When you're coming through a work zone or mowing zone, if you see those signs, please pay attention. We can't possibly see everything that's going on when we're working on one side of the road. It could have been a worse accident, had it involved our ODOT equipment."

"You need to pay attention," Trooper Hayden said. "If you're not paying attention on the road, then accidents are going to happen. So, if you don't keep your eyes on the road, then bad things happen. In this case, that's probably what happened. Someone wasn't paying attention."

The driver of the minivan was not seriously injured. Trooper Hayden said it was still too early in the investigation to tell whether she will receive any citation.

Further down the road, at the intersection of highway 58 and 49, there are two memorials set up where Macayla Smith was killed in an accident just last week.

 

 

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