Driver Dead After Two Trucks Collide In Atoka County - - No One Gets You Closer

Driver Dead After Two Trucks Collide In Atoka County

ATOKA COUNTY, OK -- Worries about a combustible situation after a propane truck collides head-on with another 18-wheeler, killing one driver.

It happened around 1 p.m. on Highway 3, east of Butler Cemetery Road. Troopers say the driver of a propane truck attempted evasive action but was struck head on by another semi and jack-knifed and rolled. He lost his life in the crash.

As rain came down off and on east of Lane, first responders worked a wreck on Highway 3.

"We're having to turn them around and send them around on McGee Creek Lake Road," says Atoka County Sheriff's Deputy Lewis Layton.

"For an unknown reason, we had a semi cross the the center line of the highway which resulted in two semis hitting head on," says OHP Lt. Scott Hampton.

Lane's volunteer fire chief says when he got there, the driver of the propane truck, Mitchell Gee, 62, of Blanchard, Okla., was already dead.

But not the other driver, who troopers identified as Alfonso Madena, 41, of Farmers Branch, Tex.

"He was walking on scene when we got here. He was walking around," says Lane Fire Chief Kevin Feuerhelm.

"After vehicles that are that size hit, they all rotate around their center mass and they did that to rest," says Hampton.

Officers at first were worried there might be some type of explosion. They called LP Gas in Stephens County and state inspectors, who sent represenatives out who determined the truck was actually empty.

"They've ruled it now that it doesn't have a large quantity of propane on board," says Hampton.

"You follow that it'll take you over the dam and come back out on the other side," a firefighter told a driver being detoured.

"Trying to go into Farris on toward Antlers," says FedEx freight truck driver Cody Horn.

Drivers had to take a long detour to get around the mess. "I think we're going back to Lane to go back further north and come across," says Horn.

"The road is completely blocked," says Undersheriff Tony Taylor.

And some people had to leave their homes. "I think we evacuated 11 homes altogether," says Feuerhelm.

"I ain't really in no hurry. I may go across the dam," says one driver from Centerpoint Rd.

One man still 8 miles from home says he's glad to take the long way. The retired cross-country truck driver says crashes like these hit a little too close to home. "Don't even like to think about it because i"ve been a little bit myself."
It was raining at the time of this crash. OHP is still investigating the exact cause of the crash and will send re-construction investigators.

Madena was taken to Atoka County Medical Center in stable condition with injuries to the head.

Drivers were detoured at Lane after about an hour and the road re-opened around 9 p.m.