Witness Recalls High-Speed Crash That Killed Tinker Airmen

Tuesday, December 27th 2011, 10:40 pm
By: News 9

Two Tinker airmen were killed in a crash on what police are calling a dangerous section of I-235. As police released the victims' names, News 9 is learning more from a witness at the scene of the accident.

12/27/2011 Related Story: Police Release Names Of Airmen Killed In I-235 Crash In OKC

A preliminary investigation points to a high-speed crash. That crash claimed the lives of airmen Ozzie Owens and Steven Spencer. Throughout the week, family and friends have paid tribute on social media websites as police look for answers. The crash happened just hours after Christmas Day.

"It was a horrific scene," witness Robert Beck said.

On the Broadway Extension near 50th, the Interstate narrows and curves at a railroad underpass. That's where two young Tinker airmen were found among the wreckage of a Honda S2000.

"Speed was the main factor," Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow of Oklahoma City police said. "It's a very sharp curve, and somebody who is not familiar with that road, who might be traveling at a high rate of speed, that could pose a potential problem," Wardlow said.

Beck was the first person on the scene of the accident.

"For several minutes [as] I was trying to get into the car, I could not find the driver, just [a] hand," Beck said.

Beck says he immediately checked for a pulse on the driver but could tell both men were dead.

"It broke my heart," Beck said.

The driver, Ozzie Owens, was just four days away from his 21st birthday. Passenger Steven Spencer turned 21 less than two weeks before the crash. Police say the section of I-235 where the accident occurred sees quite a few accidents. In fact, not far from Monday's wreckage is a small white cross marking yet another loss.

"It was a difficult situation for everybody involved, and my heart and prayers go out to the families," Beck said.

While both men were stationed at Tinker AFB, they were not originally from Oklahoma. Owens was from South Carolina and Spencer was from Tennessee. The official cause of the accident is still under investigation.