DAVIS, Okla. (KFOR)- A 7-vehicle crash on northbound I-35 in Garvin County has left two dead and court records filled with likely causes for the crash.
Just after 12 p.m., a multiple vehicle collision was reported on I-35 near mile marker 59.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol was notified and responded to the scene.
“That area has a construction zone,” said OHP Trooper Eric Foster. “Any time there’s a lane closure, you’re pushing all of that traffic into one lane. And so it very often backs up and that’s what happened in this case. Traffic was either completely stopped, always barely moving or very slowly when a semi approached that stopped traffic or slowed traffic way too quickly and struck the back of the passenger car, going over the top of it, crushing the car.”
He said what often happens is drivers will see signage indicating upcoming construction zones, but that it doesn’t register until it’s too late.
“The other issue is that when it’s a commercial motor vehicle and they’re traveling 70 miles an hour and they weigh 80,000 pounds, they can’t stop like a car can. And so it can be very, very dangerous,” Trooper Foster added.
A newly filed probable cause affidavit shows three commercial motor vehicles were stopped in the outside lane with one commercial vehicle and two cars stopped in the inside lane.
38-year-old Tony Aghaji-Enweremadu was in a semi-truck coming up on the traffic when he allegedly received a “Ring” notification on his phone.
“Aghaji-Enweremadu communicated through the Ring Doorbell video screen to the FedEx person when he noticed traffic had stopped. Aghaji-Enweremadu then swerved to the left colliding with another commercial motor vehicle,” court records read.
That crash resulted in the death of two people.
Trooper Foster said their families have been notified, but they’re holding off on formally announcing who they are until the State Medical Examiner’s Office can positively identify them.
“If you’re driving something that big and that heavy, you should have nothing in your hand,” said Trooper Foster. “If you’re going 60 miles an hour and you take your eyes off the roadway for the time that it takes to do a lot of things like that… 3 to 4 seconds, you close 300 feet, which is a football field just in the time you’ve had your eyes off the road. And that’s how dangerous it is,” said Trooper Foster.
Court records show Aghaji-Enweremadu was later flown to Denton, Texas for his injuries.
Law enforcement interviewed him while he was there.
Aghaji-Enweremadu allegedly admitted to officials he had “smoked a bowl of marijuana” when he woke up that morning and before his before his 8 a.m. work shift.
Aghaji-Enweremadu had his blood drawn for drug screening by a Texas Trooper. Trooper Foster said those results have yet to come back.
Aghaji-Enweremadu was later released from the Medical City Denton Hospital and agreed to travel to the OHP Troop F Headquarters in Ardmore.
In a written statement, Aghaji-Enweremadu said, “I am deeply sorry for the lost lives.”
“You know, a lot of times people don’t think about the consequences of things until after they’ve happened. And very often after they’ve happened, they’re too late,” added Trooper Foster.
Aghaji-Enweremadu didn’t provide admission to smoking marijuana earlier in the day in that statement, according to court documents.
Aghaji-Enweremadu was arrested Thursday morning at 11:04.
He now faces two counts of misdemeanor manslaughter.
Trooper Foster told KFOR there’s still a long road ahead for this investigation.
He said an OHP traffic homicide unit will look at the weight of the vehicles involved, tire reactions, and vehicle reactions next.