Two teachers with the Guthrie Public Schools were killed after the car they were in was hit by a wrong-way driver near Perkins, Oklahoma, Monday morning.
It happened at about 7:15 a.m. on State Highway 33 just west of Redlands Road, about six miles west of Perkins in Payne County.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a 2010 Dodge van driven by 37-year-old Rocky Baca of Choctaw was going eastbound in the westbound lane.
A 2012 Ford Focus driven by 24-year-old Jennifer Briggs of Stillwater was going westbound in the westbound lane. Briggs attempted to swerve to the left to avoid hitting Baca's van. However, troopers said Baca's van swerved to the right and collided with Briggs' car in the eastbound lane.
Briggs and her passenger, 27-year-old Heather Wilson of Stillwater, were both pinned inside the car for about two hours before being freed by Coyle firefighters. They were both pronounced dead at the scene from multiple injuries.
Baca was airlifted by Eagle-Med to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. He was admitted in serious condition.
All three were wearing seat belts at the time of the collision.
It is unclear at this time why Baca was going the wrong-way on the highway. Troopers listed the cause of the collision as “left of center” in the OHP collision report.
According to the Guthrie News Page, both Briggs and Wilson were teachers at the Guthrie Public Schools. Briggs served as a seventh grade English teacher and was in her first year of teaching after student-teaching at the Junior High last year. Wilson taught eighth grade English at the school.
According to school officials, Parent-Teacher Conferences scheduled for the Junior High Building have been canceled for Monday night, but other sites will continue as scheduled. Counselors will be available during the scheduled conference time at the Junior High from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. to assist staff members or students.
Dr. Mike Simpson, Superintendent of Guthrie Public Schools, released the following statement,
“This has hit our Junior High staff and students especially hard and we are thankful for the outpouring of support. These were two rising stars in education who in their short time touched many lives. I have spoken with the families of both teachers to offer our condolences and support. We will get through this tragedy but for now we are grieving our loss.”