UPDATE: One of the victims from the head-on car accident has died from her injuries.
While trying to retrieve a dropped cigarette, a man swerved into oncoming traffic, slamming into a minivan.
One of the adults in minivan, 54-year-old Jeanette Gibbons, died over the weekend.
She had actually been released from the hospital hours earlier.
SHAWNEE, Okla. – The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is still investigating a violent crash that happened late Friday morning near the Pottawatomie/Seminole County line.
Authorities say the driver of a car that was heading west on Hwy 3 crossed the double yellow line, smashing into a van, with a mother, another adult and her four children inside.
Jimmie Heard is a tow truck driver.
He’s been working violent crash scenes like this for 32 years and said this was among the worst ever.
“Flight helicopters… They just kept pulling kids out, ” said Heard.
Folks who live in the country said this stretch of highway is a real trouble spot.
In fact, there was a fatal crash right here, not long ago.
“We’ve heard of a lot of crashes out here. With the speed changing from one to the next, and obviously, there have been crashes before with all the crosses and stuff,” said Nakina DiDeonna.
Investigators say the driver of the car dropped a cigarette in his lap, causing him to lose control.
When you look at the crunched metal and shattered glass, Jimmie Heard said it’s hard to fathom that everyone survived.
“They must have had a guardian angel. It’s amazing they loaded them in helicopters rather than putting a sheet over them. These wrecks you don’t walk away from,” said Heard.
Authorities say the mother and one child in the van were treated and released.
The driver of the car, who officers say allegedly caused the crash, was listed in fair condition at last check.
Another adult and child in the van were also listed in fair condition.
Two other children were listed in serious condition and critical condition at last check.