CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The family of a 19-year-old University of Central Oklahoma student killed in an alleged drunk driving crash is now suing multiple parties they say are responsible for the events leading to the fatal wrong-way crash.
Marissa Murrow was killed in early October 2020 when Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers say alleged drunk driver, Malcolm Penney was driving the wrong way on the Kilpatrick Turnpike and crashed into her head-on.
Shortly after midnight on Oct. 3, emergency crews were called to a crash on the Kilpatrick Turnpike, just north of S.W. 15th St. in Oklahoma City.
Investigators say 19-year-old Marissa Murrow was driving a 2014 Ford Focus southbound on the Kilpatrick when she hit head-on by a driver traveling the wrong direction.
Officials with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol say 39-year-old Malcolm Penney was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of the turnpike when he hit Murrow’s vehicle.
Murrow was rushed to a nearby hospital where she later died from her injuries.
Authorities say they detected an odor of alcohol on Penney and believe alcohol may have played a role in the crash.
Murrow’s cousin, Kaitlyn Kennedy, described her as a driven young woman, a cheer competitor, and wrestling team manager. A UCO student and Sigma Kappa sorority sister with many aspirations, including a plan to teach special education. Talented and charming, she was beloved by many.
“She was a very strong person both emotionally and mentally. She always persevered through any obstacle that was presented to her,” Kennedy said. “She was very kind and she used the love of god to show that kindness.”
Now, Marissa’s parents are suing Malcolm Penney, Malcolm’s wife Amanda Penney, The Springs Events LLC, Weathercoat Security, and Café 501 LLC for their alleged roles in the events leading up to the wrong-way crash that killed her.
According to the documents, Malcolm Penney consumed alcohol for nearly 10 hours while attending an event at The Springs venue and was “visibly intoxicated when he left” the party.
The suit goes on to say Malcolm Penney’s blood tested for twice the legal limit for blood-alcohol content several hours after the crash.
The documents also site 4 previous drunk driving offenses where Penney was found guilty.
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As for Malcolm’s wife, Amanda, the records say, “Defendant Amanda Penney knew, or reasonably should have known, the Defendant Malcolm Penney was or likely would be intoxicated, incompetent, and not capable of safely operating a motor vehicle during the time period Defendant Malcolm Penney was permitted to use her motor vehicle.”
According to the suit, the Penneys were attending a wedding at The Springs with Café 501 serving as caterer and Weathercoat Security working as contracted guards.
The filing claims all three entities have alcohol policies in place to prevent the events leading to Marissa’s death.
Read in full below:
Also today, Malcolm Penney pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Jeff Murrow, Marissa’s father, told KFOR that he was disappointed that Penney didn’t accept responsibility for the crash.
“I guess we had some hope that he would take some responsibility for what he did, but I don’t know why we felt that way because that’s not his history,” Jeff Murrow said.
Jeff said that it has been a long journey since his daughter’s death, but they will continue to fight for justice.
“We’re gonna do right by our daughter. We’re gonna be here every minute and then hopefully when this is over, we can do something that will help someone else,” said Jeff Murrow.