Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 29, 2012

Two die in unrelated car crashes over holiday

TAHLEQUAH — Two men died in unrelated single-car crashes in the area over the holiday weekend.

According to a report by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, an unknown white male died at 9:06 p.m., Sunday, May 27 in a collision on State Highway 82, 7.5 miles north of Tahlequah in Cherokee County.

The victim’s name had not been released as of press time, pending family notification.

The report indicates the male driver of the Dodge Charger was southbound on S.H. 82 when the vehicle veered off the roadway to the left, striking a tree. The vehicle then became engulfed in flames while the driver was trapped in the car.

Troopers investigating the crash said it was unknown if the driver was wearing a seatbelt or whether the vehicle’s air bags deployed. The cause of the crash is also unknown.

The crash was investigated by OHP Trooper Kane Wyatt of the Cherokee County Detachment, who was assisted by Trooper Cody Cross and Rodney Vick of the Cherokee County Detachment, and Trooper Derek Griffey, as well as Trooper Danny Upton of the Sequoyah County Detachment.

In an unrelated incident, Richard Phillips, 44, of Salina died in a fatality collision at 4:39 a.m., Saturday, May 26, one mile north of Salina in Mayes County.

According to OHP reports, Phillips was driving a 1983 Chevrolet pickup north on a county road, and for an unknown reason he failed to negotiate a curve. The truck left the roadway on the right, where it traveled approximately 55 feet before striking a tree head-on.

The report indicates Phillips expired at the scene from massive head and trunk internal injuries, after being pinned in the vehicle for approximately 2-1/2 hours.

He was extricated from the truck by the Salina Fire Department, using the Jaws of Life to recover the body.

The crash was investigated by OHP Trooper Dustin Thornton of the Mayes County Detachment, who was assisted by the Salina Police and Fire Departments.

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