Tahlequah Daily Press

June 19, 2013

Airbag module may offer clues to crash

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — State troopers are seeking the airbag control module from a truck that crashed into a tree in the Keys area early Saturday morning, killing two local teenagers and critically injuring others.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Rodney Vick this week filed an affidavit for a search warrant and asked for the module and data it contains. Vick believes the data stored in the module could assist in the investigation of the fatal crash and in a reconstruction of the incident.

He is also seeking permission to collect clothes, fibers, DNA, fingerprints, blood and other items to aid in confirming the identity of the driver, whom the OHP has named as 22-year-old Ryan Molina of Tahlequah.

Vick said processing the 2003 Ford truck could help determine the speed the vehicle was traveling when it crashed near the intersection of Pettit Bay Road and Indian Road at around 3:46 a.m. Saturday.

He said the information gathered could be necessary in the criminal investigation of the crash, which led to the deaths of Paul Blevins Jr., 19, and Michael Rogers, 14, both of Tahlequah.

Micah Holcomb, 18, and Haley Seal, 16, both of Tahlequah, were seriously injured in the crash.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, seven passengers were riding in the truck, including four who were in the truck bed and were ejected when the vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign, went into a broad slide, and hit a tree. Vick said the truck was apparently traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash.

Vick’s affidavit refers to the crash as a “vehicular homicide.”