Warrant Issued For Driver Who Hit, Killed Nurse Who Cared For COVID-19 Patients

Monday, June 22nd 2020, 10:28 pm

STROUD, Okla. -

A warrant has been issued Monday for the arrest of an Edmond man who is accused of hitting and killing a nurse on the Turner Turnpike in April.

Wendi Jo Wright, 41, was killed on her way to work around 6 a.m. on April 29. Wright cared for COVID-19 patients at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City.

Jessie Hardridge, 40, is changed with first degree manslaughter.

Wendi was on the westbound ramp on the Turner Turnpike at Stroud when Hardridge, also traveling westbound, left the road and crashed into her, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Wendi was pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband, a volunteer Stroud firefighter, responded to the call.

For family, life hasn't been the same.

“Every day I am reliving the same pain, the same loss,” said Wendi’s husband, Randle. “I wake up and the first thing I want to do is send her a text. I know our whole family is waking up each day still missing her. It’s like it happened yesterday.”

Police said Hardridge was traveling 95 miles per hour before leaving the road, going airborne and crashing his truck into Wendi's Dodge Challenger.

Court records reveal Hardridge fell asleep at the wheel and also had "marijuana metabolites" in his system at the time of the crash.

“At least say sorry to my family,” said Randle. “Say sorry to her grandpa, to her sister, to her mother, if I could ask him anything, I would ask why he wouldn't have at least gone up to help her.”

Nothing will erase Randle’s memory of the crash that killed his wife. Justice, family said, will help ease the pain.

“I really believe in karma. Killing someone’s mother, killing someone’s wife just for driving reckless, there was no reason to be driving that way,” said Randle. “I absolutely believe that karma will have a role in that.”

Hardridge has yet to turn himself into police. It’s unclear if he'll do that or if police will pick him up.