Oklahoma Highway Patrol: Distraction to blame for fatal crash that claimed four lives


Three people killed, including two children, in tragic crash in Purcell

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PURCELL, Okla. – We’re learning more information about a crash that claimed the lives of a mother and three children.

On July 17, emergency crews responded to a crash on I-35 near mile marker 91 in Purcell.

Erin Van Horn was driving a white 2014 GMC Yukon with six kids inside when her SUV slammed into the back of a stopped semi truck at a high rate of speed.

OHP troopers said their preliminary investigation does not show Van Horn took any sort of evasive action before hitting the semi.

“It was a significant crash. It was a high impact crash, high-speed,” said Trooper Dwight Durant, with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. “It looks like the semi was in the right hand lane at a stop. And, SUV comes up behind it and runs into the back of it.”

Van Horn died as a result of the crash, along with her 10-year-old son, Zachary Van Horn,  11-year-old Beck Kitterman and 13-year-old Lizzie Edwards.

Family friends tell NewsChannel 4 Van Horn was returning home to Tulsa after an outing at Turner Falls.

On Wednesday, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol released the official traffic collision report.

The report states that Van Horn was distracted by something and didn’t see that traffic was stopped in front of her.

However, the report does not state what distracted Van Horn.

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