OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Authorities are investigating a horrific crash that claimed the life of a Canadian County deputy, police say.
Shortly before 10 a.m. on Friday, emergency crews were called to an accident along N.W. Expressway, just west of the Kilpatrick Turnpike.
Officials realized one of the vehicles involved in the wreck was a Canadian County Sheriff’s Office patrol car driven by Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Shirley Lanning.
The Oklahoma City Police Department says Lt. Lanning was driving westbound on NW Expressway when, for an unknown reason, she drifted into oncoming traffic hitting, another vehicle.
“The vehicle saw Lt. Lanning’s vehicle start to come over into her lane. She tried to take evasive action, but wasn’t able to because there was another vehicle next to them going east bound,” Sgt. Megan Morgan with the Oklahoma City Police Department said. “Unfortunately, they collided head on.”
The two people in the second vehicle were injured and taken to a nearby hospital, but their injuries are non-life threatening. Lt. Lanning didn’t survive.
“Lt. Lanning was extracted from her vehicle, and she was transported to a local hospital,” Sgt. Morgan said. “Unfortunately, she was pronounced deceased.”
Lanning spent 30 years in law enforcement, the last six as an investigator for new hires with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office. Canadian County Sheriff Chris West says she did the job better than anyone else.
“You might have an agency that’s kind of difficult to work with to get information,” West said. “Shirley could just walk in there and within a few minutes have them eating out of her hands.”
Capt. Adam Flowers was Lt. Lanning’s captain. He says the Sheriff’s Office won’t be the same without Shirley.
“Shirley was awesome, a go-getter, a person you could always rely on,” Capt. Flowers said. “People loved her, we loved her. It was tough to lose not just a good deputy, but a great friend.”
Sheriff West says his office will never be able to fill the void left by Shirley.
“Shirley and my wife were pretty close. We went to dinner with them routinely,” Sheriff West said. “Dear friends. I mean this is a very personal loss. Not only professionally, but it’s a personal loss.”