Three Dead In Icy Collision On Red River Bridge - - No One Gets You Closer

Three Dead In Icy Collision On Red River Bridge


BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- Troopers say icy conditions may be the cause of a fatal accident that killed three people and shut down the busy Red River bridge between Texas and Oklahoma.

With the help of a fire truck's spotlight, Colbert and Cartwright firefighters worked to extricate the victims of a crash on the Red River bridge.

"This is pretty bad. One of the worst ones I've seen," says OHP trooper Kyle Ince.

Around 8 p.m. on Sunday, troopers say the SUV driver was heading south on Highway 69/75 when he lost control.

Early Monday, the victims were identified as the driver Juan Garcia, 40, of Miami, Okla., passenger Anita Mayorga, 70, of Miami, Okla., and a juvenile.

The driver's wife, Eugenia Garcia, 38, along with passenger Rosalinda Alaniz, 46, and a juvenile were taken to Texoma Medical Center in stable condition.

Troopers say a total of nine people from Miami were in the SUV, including five children.

Semi drivers Alvin Prescott, 66, of Seneca, Mo., and Jeremy Greene, 42, of Litchfield, Ill., and one of the juveniles were all not injured. Another juvenile was taken to TMC with a head injury as a "non-patient" and a third juvenile for observation, according to OHP.

"He struck the bridge, he bounced off and hit the other guard rail, bounced off and hit the opposite guard rail again, and was struck by the first semi, then at some point they separated," says Ince. "Then, a second semi come along and hit the vehicle and pushed it to where it stopped here."

The impact left the vehicle wedged between the front of one semi labeled Altruk from Joplin, Mo., and the very end of the side wall on the Texas side of the bridge, killing three people including a child. The other truck from Cisco Trucking of Carlinville, Ill., was further along the bridge and Ince says the semi drivers were okay.

With the road covered with snow, troopers say there's probably a simple explanation for this crash.

"Ice and most likely speed, not necessarily speeding, but too fast for the ice," says Ince.

The crash forced the southbound lanes of the highway to be shut down for hours, and it's not the only accident we found right in the same area.

"I come slow... and poof it go to the left and go to the right," says truck driver Felipe Rivera.

Rivera's trip came to a sudden end when his semi jackknifed near the Highway 69 exit in Denison around 9 p.m., leaving it laying across the shoulder on the side of the road.

Back on the bridge, an ODOT and TxDOT truck showed up on the Oklahoma side of the bridge to put down sand and a gravel mixture called "chat."

"They're waiting for us to get out of the way so they can finish sanding it now," says Ince.

According to OHP, the road was re-opened around 1 a.m. on Monday after being closed for five hours. Drivers heading south were forced to exit at Colbert.