Comanche County_A deadly crash on Thursday sent an SUV flying into a pond in eastern Comanche County near East 75th Street on Highway 7. Emergency crews tried to save the driver's life, but despite their best efforts, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) says 40-year-old Gary Dement of Lawton later died at the hospital.
The OHP says Dement was driving toward Duncan, when he crossed the highway, and eventually crashed through a fence off the westbound shoulder median, and westbound lanes. The SUV kept travelling, and flipped end-over-end into the pond. Some truckers and a couple of good Samaritans raced to the pond to check on the driver who was found floating in the water. "Just came flying through that pond dam and landed upside down," said First Responder Kim Stotler. "They pulled him out of the water, and they didn't know what to do, and since I've had nurse's training I gave him CPR until paramedics and firemen got here."
Stotler has had first responder training, and says it was not the first time she has been faced with an emergency where she and her husband could help. "A long time ago I did, but I never thought I would use it again," she said. She says it doesn't get any easier.
With the help of other fire and medical workers, they were able to get Dement to a waiting ambulance. Fears grew that someone else may have been trapped in the sunken SUV. "That's the main concern," said OHP Captain Mike McClelland. "We weren't able to locate anybody, and there's no indication anybody else was involved at this point."
Investigators are looking at a number of causes for the crash, and say it's possible Dement may have suffered a medical condition or fallen asleep at the wheel.
OHP continues its investigation, and will wait for the medical examiner to determine the cause of Dement's death. It is not known yet whether a medical condition played a role in the crash.