Missouri trucker gets jail in Oklahoma crash that killed 10
MIAMI, Okla.— A former Missouri truck driver has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the deaths of 10 people in a traffic collision in northeastern Oklahoma and will serve 30 days in jail and 10 years of probation, a prosecutor said Monday.
In Oklahoma, negligent homicide is a misdemeanor and not a felony, Ottawa County District Attorney Eddie Wyant said in a statement.
Donald L. Creed, 77, of Willard, Mo., pleaded guilty Monday to 10 counts as part of a plea deal. He will serve his 30 days in the county jail and be subjected to electronic monitoring for the first year of probation, Wyant said. He also will be barred from possessing a commercial driver’s license.
Creed was driving a tractor-trailer rig for Associated Wholesale Grocers on June 26, 2009, when the truck slammed into vehicles that had stopped for another accident near Miami on Interstate 44. It took emergency responders hours to free the victims, many of whom were related, from the mangled vehicles.
Oral Hooks, Earlene Hooks, Antonio Hooks and Dione Hooks, all of Oklahoma City; Ethan Hayes and Randall Hayes of Frisco, Texas; Cynthia Olson, of Crossroads, Texas; and Ricardo Reyes and Ernestina Reyes of Phoenix, were pronounced dead at the scene. Shelby Hayes of Frisco, Texas, died two days later at a Missouri hospital.
The Reyes’ daughter, Andrea, survived.
An Oklahoma Highway Patrol report concluded Creed’s inattention caused the wreck about 90 miles northeast of Tulsa. Investigators found no evidence that he tried to brake or take evasive action before hitting the other cars.
The victims’ families were notified of the plea agreement and decided to leave the sentencing up to the court, Wyant said.
“I hope that the resolution of Mr. Creed’s criminal matter will somehow begin the healing process for all of the friends and family members of the victims which are left behind to deal with the consequences of Mr. Creed’s actions,” Wyant said in the statement.
A civil lawsuit on behalf of survivors of several victims has been filed in Cleveland County District Court in Norman.
Wyant couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Monday afternoon. A call to Creed’s attorney, Paul Brunton, wasn’t immediately