Arkansas man sentenced for Muskogee County death

A Springdale, Arkansas, man was sentenced in Muskogee County District Court to 30 years in prison for the death of a passenger in the car the man was driving.

Jeffrey Wayne Dellinger, 55, also was sentenced Aug. 11 to 30 years for driving under the influence with a breath alcohol content of .08 or more causing great bodily injury. He will serve the two 30-year sentences concurrently. He was given two 10-year suspended sentences for causing accident without valid driver's license - death; causing accident without valid driver's license - great bodily injury. Those sentences will be consecutive to the 30-year sentences.

Dellinger was scheduled to go to trial this past April, but chose to enter a blind plea instead. 

Dellinger was charged following the death of Valerie Blake, 23, of Rogers, Arkansas, who was a passenger in the a passenger in the car Dellinger crashed on Interstate 40 on April 16, 2021.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the collision happened at approximately 1:30 a.m. at mile marker 282, 4 miles east of Warner. Dellinger was driving a 2003 BMW 325 westbound in the rain when he drove off the right side of the road and struck several trees before the vehicle came to rest in a tree line.

Blake and Taylor Pipkin, 22, of Rogers, Arkansas, were pinned for approximately 25 minutes before being freed by the Warner Fire Department. The trooper attributed driving under the influence of drugs as the cause of the collision. Dellinger was the only person in the car wearing a seat belt, the OHP report states.

Blake was taken to Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee, where she was pronounced dead at 3:36 a.m., the report states.

Dellinger was taken to Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee for treatment and later was arrested and booked into the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility. Pipkin and Michael Robinson, 34, of Springdale, Arkansas, were taken to Saint Francis Muskogee where Robinson was treated and released. Pipkin was transferred to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, the report states.

Trooper Colt Duncan, a member of the OHP Traffic Homicide Unit, conducted the investigation into Blake's death. Duncan spoke with Dellinger at the hospital. According to Duncan's statement, Dellinger said he was prescribed medication to treat seizures and sleep apnea. Trooper Tommy Mullins conducted an evaluation and "determined Dellinger was under the influence of drugs and it was not safe for him to operate a motor vehicle."

Duncan conducted a records check and found Dellinger had an expired driver's license out of Illinois and had an identification card from Arkansas. He had no valid driver's license.

When Robinson was interviewed, he said he watched Dellinger fall asleep at the wheel, drive off the road and crash into the trees, the report states.

A search warrant was obtained for the BMW. The following evidence was recovered: vape pen that had a strong odor of marijuana, which was found under the accelerator pedal; a prescription bottle in the glove box belonging to Pipkin containing three different pills; a container for a vape cartridge and another vape cartridge.

Duncan also found that Dellinger had numerous prior charges for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and was arrested and convicted in Texas on a charge of driving while intoxicated.

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