MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

November 23, 2013

Three killed in crash

Medical issue may have contributed to wreck

A medical condition may have been a factor in a crash that claimed the lives of three people at 24th Street and West Okmulgee Avenue on Friday afternoon, police said.

Michael Billings, 74; Loretta Goodwin, 77; and Jacob Roberts, 21; were pronounced dead at EASTAR Health System, according to a media release from the Muskogee Police Department.

Billings had a medical condition that may have contributed to the crash, the release said, but details on the condition were not released.

A debris field of glass, plastic and steel lay scattered across the south portion of the intersection at West Okmulgee Avenue and 24th Street, where a Hyundai spun into the Pop-N-Go parking lot.

Goodwin was driving the 2009 Hyundai Elantra and had stopped just south of the intersection at the red light. There were two other vehicles in front of her, also stopped at the red light.

Billings was driving a 2005 Mercury Sable northbound on South 24th, approaching Okmulgee and crashed into the rear of the Hyundai. The Hyundai then struck the vehicle in front of it, which struck the vehicle in front of it.

Roberts was a passenger in the Hyundai.

Lt. Bryan Stark said when the Hyundai was struck it caused a chain reaction that resulted with varying degrees of damage to the four cars. The impact of the initial collision obliterated the rear end of the Hyundai.

Stark said several people were transported by ambulance to the hospital.

“From what I could tell, it looks like there could be some serious injuries,” Stark said. “At least six and maybe seven were transported to the hospital.”

In addition to Roberts, Goodwin and Billings, three other people who were injured were taken to EASTAR, but did not appear to have life-threatening injuries, said Rebecca Williamson, EMS spokeswoman. Their names were unavailable.

Cece Cooper, a clerk at the Pop-N-Go Convenience Store, said it appeared all four cars were traveling northbound on 24th Street when the collision occurred.

“They all were coming from the same direction, and I just heard a loud boom,” Cooper said. “The light was green. It was loud.”

Stark said it appeared none of the drivers or passengers involved were pinned inside the wreckage.

Officer Joe Poffel said there were a total of seven people in the four vehicles at the time of the crash.

An accident reconstructionist was called to the scene, he said.

Police will continue to investigate the cause of the collisions.

Staff writer Anita Reding contributed to this report.

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.

Reach Elizabeth Ridenour at (918) 684-2929 or eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com.

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