OHP Releases Identities Of Texas Students After Fatal Murray County Crash


Saturday, September 27th 2014, 2:06 pm
By: News 9


The Oklahoma Highway Patrol released the identities of the four Texas students killed in Friday night's Murray County crash.

OHP said Katelynn Woodlee,18, of Windom, Texas, Jaiden Pelton, 20, of Telephone, Texas, Brooke Deckard, 20, of Scurry, Texas and Meagan Richardson, 19, of Wylie, Texas were killed Friday night after a semi-truck crashed into the bus they were traveling on with their coach and 11 other students.

According to the OHP collision report, the crash occurred at 9:08 p.m. on southbound Interstate 35 at mile marker 47.

The report states 53-year-old Russell Staley of Saginaw, Texas was driving a 2013 Peterbilt semi-truck on northbound Interstate 35, when he departed the roadway, crossed over the center median, entered the southbound lanes and struck a 2008 Champion Motor Coach.

Troopers said the Champion Motor Coach was driven by 48-year-old Van Hedrick of Gainesville, Texas.

KXII News 12 reported that the softball team was heading back to North Central Texas College from a game against Southern Nazarene University.

9/26/2014 Related Story: Four Texas Students Dead, Several Injured In Murray County Crash

The OHP report states the following information regarding the drivers and passengers involved in the collision:

Woodlee, Pelton and Richardson were pronounced dead at the scene due to massive injuries. Deckard was transported to Arbuckle Memorial Hospital in Sulphur, where she was later pronounced dead due to massive injuries.

The other 11 female passengers were all from Texas, and they were aged between 18 and 20 years old.

Six were transported to Mercy Hospital in Ardmore, where they were treated and released.

Three were transported to Pauls Valley General Hospital, where two were treated and released and one was transferred to Norman Regional in stable condition.

One was admitted to OU Medical Center in stable condition, and one was transported to Norman Regional in stable condition.

Hedrick was transported by a private vehicle to Mercy Hospital in Ardmore, where he was treated and later released.

Staley was transported to Pauls Valley General Hospital, where he was treated and later released.

OHP said the condition of both drivers is still under investigation.

The Murray County Sheriff's Office, Davis Police and Fire, U.S. Park Rangers, Chickasaw Lighthorse Police and the Sulphur and Springer Fire Departments assisted OHP with this investigation.

On Saturday morning, North Central Texas College District President Dr. Brent Wallace held a press conference on the Gainesville campus and called this tragedy the most traumatic event in the college's 90-year history.

“On behalf of the NCTC Board of Regents, administration, faculty and staff, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to these families," said Dr. Wallace. "This is indeed a sad day for these families and for North Central Texas College. We covet your prayers for all of these young ladies and families and those who have lost loved ones.”

Dr. Wallace said counselors will be available for students and staff Saturday, and a prayer vigil will be held at 8 p.m. on Sunday, September 28 on the NCTC Gainesville campus.

“This will give families, students, faculty and staff and community a time to reflect on these precious young ladies and their families,” Dr. Wallace added.