POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Two Pottawatomie County deputies were killed after a semi pulled out in front of their patrol car Friday evening. It happened on Highway 39, four miles west of Highway 177 in Pottawatomie County.
According to Mike Booth, Pottawatomie County Sheriff, deputies Tim Lowry and Mike Roberts were traveling westbound on Highway 39. They were on their way to serve a warrant when they crested a hill and encountered a tractor trailer pulling a lowboy trailer, attempting to make a U-turn in the middle of the roadway.
The sheriff said the deputies' car then struck the rear side of the trailer. Both were killed in the accident.
"We're a tight-knit group in the sheriff's office. In a way we're like one big family. We're focused on taking care of the needs of both families. The Oklahoma Sheriff's Association is helping. We've received numerous calls from police and sheriff's departments across Oklahoma offering help," Sheriff Booth said.
The truck driver was not injured. The sheriff said he didn't know if the truck driver received any kind of citation for the accident. However, he said the setting sun may have played a factor.
According to the sheriff, both deputies were veterans of the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office. Lowery had approximately 20 years of experience, and Roberts had in excess of 20 years with the office. Roberts also worked in law enforcement with the Shawnee Police Department.
Both men left families and children.
Dave Balleweg, Pottawatomie Undersheriff, remembers the men as leaders in the department.
"Both fun, loving, both had been with the department - as I said - a long, long time," said Balleweg "I had actually sat and talked to Mike Roberts yesterday for about 10 minutes, just saw him in the office. They were just good hardworking deputies."