Suspect In Custody After Deadly Crash, Manhunt In Payne County

Wednesday, November 27th 2019, 5:04 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

A manhunt has ended after a suspect involved in a crash that killed two people was taken into custody Wednesday evening. 

The suspect was driving erratically at speeds over 100 mph, when he crashed into a vehicle at State Highway 51 west of Yale in Payne County, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

While driving, the suspect passed a Yale police officer on duty. Before the officer could turn around, OHP said the crash already occurred.

The two victims died at the scene, and another was taken to a local hospital. A child was also inside the vehicle that was struck and was not seriously hurt.

OHP said the suspect then fled on foot, leaving behind a female passenger in a stolen truck. She was taken into police custody and transported to an area hospital.

Law officers shut down the roadway to conduct a manhunt for the suspected driver. Yale police and Payne County deputies assisted OHP in the search. 

The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Tommy Leroy McClendon Jr., was taken into custody around 7:00 p.m. 

“He’s been laying out in the field,” said Captain Gary Vinson from Oklahoma Highway Patrol. “He started getting cold and yelling for help. That is how we found him.”

The suspect’s sister, Madison, said she’s embarrassed about the crimes her brother allegedly committed.

“I don't think I could forgive somebody if they did the same to me and took my baby's life,” said Madison. “I’m angry with him, I’m so upset.”

“I will never defend my brother for what he did, what he did was very wrong,” said Madison. “I hope the court does throw the book at him, maybe one day it will open his eyes.”

Police are not identifying the two innocent victims killed in the crash yet.

McClendon has a criminal history, including resisting arrest, possession of a stolen vehicle, eluding police and a drug charge.

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