Truck Driver Dead, 2 Injured, In Durant Crash - - No One Gets You Closer

Truck Driver Dead, 2 Injured, In Durant Crash


DURANT, OK -- A deadly accident backed up traffic for hours, and now a woman who survived the chaos believes the driver of a tractor-trailer sacrificed his life to save hers.

Police say vehicles were backed up at the stoplight in front of Choctaw Casino, meaning the truck would have needed to slow down, but because of thick fog, he may have not been able to see what was in front of him until it was too late.

Driver Shelly Ash says she was in the left lane in the fog, when suddenly she had to stop for vehicles in front of her, but she noticed in the rear-view mirror that the truck behind her was not stopping. "I said brace yourself, he's gonna hit us," Ash says. "We held on and I could see him and he couldn't really make up his mind which way he was going to go and then he veered toward the trucks and he hit the truck."

Ash says the truck switched lanes, missing her and her truck, but it collided with another truck, along with a pickup and a car. Suddenly, Ash, her 14-year-old son, and other drivers were out of their cars trying to help those who were hurt.

"We couldn't find the driver to the truck, we could see his tennis shoe and all that was left was the passenger seat," says Ash. "His truck just exploded and we couldn't find him we looked and looked and couldn't find him and we finally found him behind his driver's seat which was on the ground."

Police say visibility was extremely limited by the thick fog at the time of the crash around 8:30 a.m. north of Choctaw Road, and they briefly shut down both southbound lanes of Highway 69/75 as they investigated the accident. For much of the day, one lane was closed.

"The semi driver didn't see the traffic backed up due to the dense fog, struck the blue pickup which knocked it into another car, and then the semi-rear-ended another," says police Lt. Chris Marcy.

"I ain't seen nothing like that before, the cab was totally torn up to pieces," says driver Alvin Smith.

Ash went to the police department to report what she saw, and she says she is still shaken after witnessing the driver's last moments. "I don't even know this man's name and he saved our lives," says Ash.

The driver of the truck was later identified as Kenneth Anders, 39, of Girard, Illinois, Marcy said. The driver of the car was taken to Texoma Medical Center in Denison and listed in guarded condition, and a pickup driver was taken to MCSO in Durant and is in stable condition.