Officials identify victims injured, killed in serious accidents caused by wheel assembly

OKLAHOMA CITY – Authorities have identified the victims injured in a series of wrecks when a wheel assembly came off a semi-truck earlier this week.

Just before 5 a.m. on Monday, Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers learned of multiple crashes along I-40, between Portland Ave. and MacArthur Blvd., in Oklahoma City.

Officials say a semi-truck was eastbound I-40 near MacArthur Blvd. when the fifth axle dual wheel assembly disengaged from the trailer.  Officials say a 2004 BMW was westbound on I-40 when it was hit by the dual wheel assembly.  The impact injured a passenger in the vehicle, identified as 49-year-old Larry Nicholson.  He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

At that point, the wheel assembly struck a 2008 Chevy pickup truck, driven by 33-year-old Kasey Jill Morse, of Yukon. Investigators say the wheel assembly impacted the windshield of Morse’s truck, killing her.

Officials say the wheel assembly came to rest on I-40 when it was hit by a 2006 Jeep, driven by 22-year-old Shelby Jackson. Jackson was treated and released for minor injuries.

The assembly ultimately fell on a 2015 Freightliner, which was traveling on MacArthur Blvd.

Officials with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol say troopers located the 2005 Freightliner pulling a gas tanker at a repair facility in Gainesville, Texas.

Authorities say the driver, Shannon Fast, told investigators that he did not realize he had lost the wheel assembly. Instead, he says he discovered it when he stopped to perform his routine check several hours later.

Investigators found that the appropriate inspection was performed on the trailer before it left from a business near I-40 and Council. They say there was no visible evidence that would have caused Fast to have found the gas tank trailer in an unsafe condition.

Now, officials say they are working to determine if the dual wheel assembly was tampered with over the weekend.

OHP encourages anyone with information to contact the Traffic Homicide Unit at (405) 425-2323.