Teens killed after car hits stalled van


PAYNE COUNTY, Okla. – Two students were killed and three others injured in a highway collision in Payne County at about 1 a.m. Friday morning.

The teens were trying to get a broken down van out of the roadway when they were struck by another car along State Highway 51 east of Interstate 35.

Karla Duenes

Karla Duenes

Seventeen-year-old Dajia La Nae Brown and 17-year-old Carla Duenez were killed in the crash.

Both of the girls attended Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City. 

Skid marks and a shoe are pretty much all that is left of the scene where two teen girls were killed after the van they were in somehow became disabled and stalled in the roadway.

“When our troopers showed up it was a double fatal crash,” OHP Trooper Betsy Randolph said. “It was a horrific event.”

OHP reports state Brown and Duenez were both passengers of the van and died at the scene. 

Three others, Bobby Johnson, Jonas Pena and Peter Martinez were trying to push the van into a gas station parking lot when it was hit by another vehicle.

“We don’t know what caused the van to be disabled,” Randolph said. “We don’t know if they didn’t have their hazards on.”

Dajia Brown

Dajia Brown

Brown and Duenez were eleventh graders at Classes SAS, Sofia Gabrielson was a tenth grader.

She suffered a serious head injury.

School officials said the students were not involved in any kind of school function at the time of the accident. 

“We don’t believe drugs or alcohol were involved,” Randolph said. “Right now it’s too early in the investigation to know that for sure but just a terribly tragic heartbreaking story to report today.”

Trooper reports state both Brown and Duenez were pinned for two hours before emergency crews could get to them.

“In this sort of a horrific crash there isn’t anything any of the emergency crews could do to save to the lives of the people.”

Sofia Gabrielson

Sofia Gabrielson

Johnson and Martinez were treated and released from a Stillwater hospital; Pena was not injured.

As for the driver of the vehicle that hit the van, he was treated and released with an arm injury.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.