Law Community Reacts to Lawton Attorney's Fatal Accident

Published: Jul. 18, 2013 at 7:56 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM CDT
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LAWTON Okla_ The Lawton law community is still in shock, after one of its own, 52-year-old Kenneth Rhoads, was killed in an overnight motorcycle crash.

It happened just after midnight on highway 62 near Snyder. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Rhoads was westbound when an 18-year-old girl failed to stop before crossing the highway. Rhoads hit the back of her pickup truck. He was later pronounced dead at Jackson County Memorial Hospital.

Rhoads was known best as a criminal defense attorney and divorce attorney. After all, he'd practiced here for nearly 25 years. His colleagues say he was much more than that, though. He was a good friend.

It will be tough for either John Cramer or Ken Sue Doerfel to drive by Kenneth Rhoads' office anytime soon. Doerfel hosts the  Comanche County Bar Association's annual event each May. She said Rhoads was always willing to help.

"He'd come early with the guys to cook ribs on our smokers," Doerfel said. "By early, I mean 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning."

That fun-loving guy also had a serious side when it came to his work.

"He had a young attorney's enthusiasm with an older attorney's professionalism and understanding of the law," Cramer said.

His colleagues say he took on some tough cases and defended people that others wouldn't, because to Rhoads, that's what the American Constitution was all about.

"He was prepared and a good advocate for his clients," Doerfel said. "I think that's about the best thing you can ever say about an attorney."

7News stopped by Rhoads' law firm Thursday, and his secretary was gracious enough to let us step inside his office and learn a little more about him. She said Rhoads took great pride in decorating his office, and he especially loved his antiques, but that's not all he loved.

The walls of his office are a display of personality. He loved music, his family, art, and his alma mater. He was a man enthusiastic about his job and his life. He will be missed by many.

"He was the type of person who would be willing to do whatever a friend needed," Doerfel said.

"He loved to be around people," Cramer said. "He was just a really outgoing guy."

Many other Lawton attorneys weren't able to do an interview with 7News Thursday, but they had much of the same to say about Rhoads. They all send condolences to the family.

Rhoads did have a passenger with him on the motorcycle when they crashed into the pickup. 29-year-old Jodi Trotter of Indiahoma was also thrown off the bike in the accident. She is in critical condition Thursday at an Oklahoma City Hospital.