MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 16, 2013

Crash kills ATV rider

Witness says victim was standing on it

By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A man died Friday evening when the all-terrain vehicle he was riding crashed on the grounds of First Lutheran Church.

Police Cpl. Josh Jenkins said the victim, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A neighbor who witnessed the crash, Marcia Chance, described the man as a devoted father.

“He was a good man,” she said. “He was always out here helping his son with something.”

The crash happened at 6:09 p.m. on the property of the church, 428 E. Broadway.

The victim’s body came to rest on a pile of leaves just outside the church’s south door. The red four-wheeler he had been riding landed on its side a few feet away. Onlookers gathered at Broadway and D Streets as family members rushed to the scene and were held at bay by police.

Chance, who lives on D Street, said she had known the man for about a year. She said she saw him unloading the four-wheeler with his family.

“They do a lot of riding when it’s nice,” she said.

Marilyn Tattershall, who lives in the Broadway Apartments, said the sound of a four-wheeler going “full throttle” brought her from her dinner to her front door.

“I saw him go west on Broadway very fast,” she said. “I didn’t see him turn around, but I saw him coming back east, and he was standing up on the four-wheeler. He tried to turn into his driveway and lost control of it. It’s such a busy street. He was going way too fast.”

Peggy Henderson, who lives across the street from the scene, said she heard the four-wheeler, too, but didn’t pay attention until she heard emergency vehicles.

“I heard the sounds, but they (four-wheelers) go by here like that all the time,” she  said. “I didn’t think anything about it until they (the emergency vehicles) started showing up.”

Carol Rice, another neighbor, said the situation was a “tragedy.”

You can reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2900 or tsloat@muskogeephoenix.com.