FAIRVIEW, Okla. – Officials continue to search for two inmates who hijacked the private van transporting them early Tuesday morning.
Major County sheriff’s deputies were alerted to the situation around 3:30 am after receiving a 911 call.
“I have several people who were taken hostage and recently released and one of them claims to be an agent, an extradition agent,” said the caller.
It happened while the van was traveling down Highway 412 near Fairview.
Officials say the two inmates were somehow able to overpower the guards transporting them with just a pencil.
“They said that one of the inmates had procured a pencil,” said Major County Deputy, Wes Mongold.
They forced them to drive down a dirt road and kicked them and four other inmates in the van out and then took off.
“Obviously that late at night, no one would stop, so the guards were forced to actually light a fire and that’s how it got called through to us,” said Deputy Mongold.
The guards did not have a phone but finally got someone’s attention by setting fire to a shirt with a lighter.
By then, the inmates had at least a two hour head start.
Officials found the van at an oil field services lot in Ringwood about 10 miles away.
“One of our supervisors told what was going on, that there’s inmates they escaped and they was like yeah all of our company vehicles are accounted for and I walked out this door and my truck was parked right there where that one’s at and it was gone,” said Josh Meeks.
Meeks says his 2006 Dodge Ram pickup didn’t lock and he’d left the keys inside, just like he’s done for years.
“My personal truck has a CB in it so I’ve been posting on livetrucking.com, cdllive.com to get all the truckers out there looking for it,” said Meeks.
Major County deputies found the inmates’ personal belongings inside the van, along with an empty gun holster, leading them to believe the inmates could be armed.
“I just hope they find them and law enforcement’s safe and that’s about all you can ask for you know,” said Meeks.
The two agents suffered only minor scrapes.
They were questioned Tuesday afternoon as officials try to figure out how this could happen.
The company transporting the inmates was identified as Inmate Services Corporation out of Arkansas.
The owner did not return our calls.
The two escaped inmates are identified as Andrew Foy and Darren Walp.
Andrew Foy is a white male, blue eyes, approximately 6' tall, 210 lbs., with a medium build.
He has a tattoo arm band on his upper right arm and his final destination was supposed to be Laramie County Sheriff's Department in Wyoming.
Darren Walp is described as a 37-year-old white male from Liberal Kansas, with a medium build.
His final destination was supposed to be Seward County Sheriff's Department in Kansas.
Major County officials say the van that was being used to transport the inmates was not a company van.
That van had broken down in Pennsylvania and the guards were forced to rent a van from Enterprise, with no safety features or GPS tracking.
The pick-up truck that was stolen from the oil field services lot is maroon and has Oklahoma tag DEL-244.