Randy Mitchell Special Correspondent
Officials said seat belt use aided those involved in two wrecks Monday to come out unscathed.
Both wrecks occurred on State Highway 19 in succession. The first wreck occurred about 2:45 p.m. one mile west of Garr Corner. Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Rob Benedict said 37-year-old Barry Macmillan of Stratford was driving a pickup west on SH 19 when he ran off the road to the left and slammed into a tree. Macmillan was removed from his pickup by Ada and Vanoss firefighters using hydraulic prying and cutting tools. He was taken by Mercy EMS to Mercy Hospital Ada as a precaution. Benedict said Macmillan was shaken up by the force of the air bag deployment.
Macmillan told Benedict he nodded off while driving, causing the crash.
Emergency personnel had just finished working that wreck and were returning to Ada when they happened upon another wreck several miles east of the first wreck — about two miles west of Pickett.
Pontotoc County sheriff’s deputies immediately blocked traffic while Ada firefighters checked on occupants of two vehicles involved. Both vehicles were off the roadway, however, the roadway was littered with debris.
Benedict also worked this wreck and said 78-year-old Joan Hallaman of Stratford was driving a Ford Fiesta west on SH 19 when, as she was making a left turn, turned into the path of a Saturn Ion driven east on SH 19 by 32-year-old Elizabeth Franklin of Ada.
Franklin’s vehicle hit the driver’s-side rear quarter panel of the Fiesta. Benedict said Hallaman was taken by Mercy EMS to Mercy Hospital Ada as a precaution, but was released a short time later.
Franklin and a 4-year-old passenger in her vehicle were not injured. Benedict said all involved in both wrecks were restrained by seat belts, including the 4 year old who was secured in a booster seat.