Nurse Working Front Lines Of Coronavirus Pandemic Killed In Turnpike Crash, Charges Possible

Monday, May 4th 2020, 10:02 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

STROUD, Oklahoma -

A Stroud family is mourning the loss of a woman killed on the Turner Turnpike while heading to work in Oklahoma City to care for COVID-19 patients.

Wendi Jo Wright, 41, was traveling on the westbound on ramp Wednesday around 6 a.m. when a driver also traveling westbound left the roadway and crashed into Wright’s vehicle.

Neither driver, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol, were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Wright, family said, was killed on impact. She was pinned in the vehicle and extracted by first responders.

“We had a life ahead of us and so many plans and it’s all just ripped from us,” said Randle, Wright’s husband. “She had more colors, more personality than any person I’ve ever met.”

Randle is a Battalion Chief with the Stroud Fire Department. He got the call on his pager approximately two minutes after kissing his wife goodbye on her way to work.

“I noticed it was my car but as we got closer, I noticed that the whole front of the car and side was gone, and my wife was inside,” said Randle. “After walking up and seeing my wife in that car, I don't want to see anybody go through what I went through, ever.”

Married two decades in July, Wright leaves behind two children one of which is a graduating high school senior.

Wright’s career in health care has lasted over two decades. For the past three years, she worked as a nurse at Oklahoma Heart Hospital.

“I told her many times she doesn’t have to drive that far, we could find a closer job,” said Randle. “She said even if she didn’t receive a paycheck, she would be there every morning to see those patients and co-workers.”

“You can't explain the pain of losing someone I’ve been with every day,” said Randle. “She was my soulmate; we were neighbors at two-years-old and we went to school together.”

Photos and flowers flood the funeral home reflective of a life lived to the fullest.

“I’m so sorry that I couldn't protect her, and I couldn't save her from that wreck,” said Randle. “I just wanted to be there for her one last time and to say goodbye.”

Wright will be laid to rest Tuesday morning at Stroud Cemetery.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family pay for expenses caused by the tragedy.

The driver who hit Wright’s vehicle, a 40-year-old Edmond man, survived the crash. He was taken to Stroud Regional Medical Center via ambulance with head and body injuries.

When complete, Oklahoma Highway Patrol will forward their report to the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office. Criminal charges are possible.