MURRAY COUNTY, Okla. – Authorities say they are still investigating a deadly crash involving a bus carrying college students and a semi-truck.
Shortly after 9 p.m. on Friday, the bus, which was carrying the girl’s softball team from North Central Texas College, was hit by a semi-truck along I-35 in Murray County, near Turner Falls.
Officials with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol say three students died at the scene of the accident.
The Department of Public Safety says 19-year-old Meagan Richardson, 18-year-old Katelynn Woodlee and 20-year-old Jaiden Pelton all died at the scene from massive injuries.
However, a fourth student died at a hospital in Sulphur a short time later.
Authorities say 20-year-old Brooke Deckard was pronounced dead at the hospital from massive injuries.
— MyName Kris (@DapperWrench) September 27, 2014
The students had just played a softball game at Southern Nazarene University and were on their way back to Texas at the time of the crash.
Authorities say a semi-truck was heading northbound before it crossed over the center median and hit the team’s bus.
The bus rolled over in the crash, and the semi headed off the roadway into a wooded area.
The bus was headed back to the college when the semi-truck crossed the center median.
In addition to the deaths, several other people were injured in the crash.
According to the Department of Public Safety’s report, there were 16 people on the bus at the time of the accident.
Everyone was taken to the hospital but most were treated and released for minor injuries.
Three students were admitted to various hospitals across the state in stable condition.
Dr. Brown Wallace, president of the North Central Texas Community College District, released the following statement on Saturday morning.
“As each of you must imagine, words are difficult for us this morning. Last evening, the North Central Texas College girl’s softball team was involved in a major accident around 9 p.m. on Interstate 35 in southern Oklahoma. The NCTC Police Department is waiting on official notification from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol before releasing any further details. We are aware of four fatalities bur are not yet able to release these names. On behalf of the NCTC Board of Regents, administration, faculty and staff, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to these families. This is indeed a sad day for these families and for North Central Texas College. We covet your prayers for all of these young ladies and families and those who have lost loved ones. The NCTC counselors are available for students and staff on the Gainsville campus today, Saturday, September 27, 2014, and will continue to be available as students work through this tragic event.”
Dr. Wallace says a prayer vigil is scheduled for Sunday so families, students and faculty members can remember the young women who were lost in the crash.
He added that many of the players are experiencing some “deep emotion” when it comes to dealing with their friends’ deaths.
“This is the most traumatic event that NCTC has had in its 90 years of history,” Wallace said.
I'm sure going to miss this girl when I leave for college next month! pic.twitter.com/Kp8x4zbxzz
— Brookeeeee2013 (@BrookeDeckard) July 3, 2013
Daddy's girl💙 pic.twitter.com/4g9Yk0KWek
— ✦Katelynn✦ (@KatelynnWoodlee) August 23, 2014
Had a great weekend with these punks!☺️ pic.twitter.com/A9YnDTFvMf
— Jaiden Pelton (@JaidenPelton) June 21, 2014