A family of three died in an accident Monday night near Reno and Rockwell Avenues. It happened around 11:30 p.m. Police said the family was westbound when a driver heading south T-boned their car, killing all three people inside.
Twenty-two-month-old Ruby Fields, her dad Jason and mom Shannon were on a quick run to the store Monday night when their car was hit by another vehicle driven by what police said was an intoxicated driver. All three members of the family were killed.
The driver of the other car, Demetrius Price, is fine. But he faces three counts of First Degree Manslaughter, DUI and Driving Without a License. Price has a long history with police including an arrest for selling drugs.
That accident comes on the heels of another one Sunday night when 6-year-old Saxton Watley of Edmond was killed in a head-on collision caused by a driver going the wrong way on the Kilpatrick Turnpike. Police said the driver of that car was under the influence of medication.
“I don't see them as accidents, they're more often than not preventable,” said Jessica Hawkins, the Director of Prevention with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
Hawkins said 20 people die in DUI accidents in Oklahoma every month, the tragic by-product of a statewide problem that's been around for years. Hawkins also said Oklahoma ranks 46th in nation in impaired driving.
“Overall we have a serious substance abuse problem in Oklahoma, we rank second nationally for substance abuse.”
Hawkins said we all need to be having conversations about the circumstances that led up to these accidents. Because to think that tragedies like these are simply isolated incidences is a mistake.
“It's quite widespread. It's quite prevalent and it's unacceptable to think that these things just happen.”