Two Oklahoma teachers die in wreck on the way to school


Heather Wilson (left), Jennifer Briggs (right)

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PAYNE COUNTY, Okla. - Two Guthrie teachers are dead after a wreck Monday morning in Payne County, Okla.

Jennifer Briggs, 24, and Heather Wilson, 27, were both English teachers at Guthrie Junior High School.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says both teachers were pronounced dead at the scene.

Heather Wilson (left), Jennifer Briggs (right)
Heather Wilson (left), Jennifer Briggs (right)

It happened just after 7 a.m. Monday on State Highway 33, close to Redlands Rd., which is six miles west of Perkins in Payne County.

Troopers say Rocky Baca, 37, from Choctaw was driving a Dodge Van eastbound in the westbound lanes on SH 33.

According to troopers, Briggs and Wilson were riding together in a 2012 Ford Focus and tried to swerve to miss Baca, but were unsuccessful.

"He was traveling the wrong direction in their lane and they went left to avoid him and they hit head on," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Betsy Randolph.

Trooper Randolph says it's not clear why Baca drifted over the center line.

"He said he was sleepy and we did a blood test and if there were any intoxicants in his system we'll know that when the tests come back," said Randolph.

OHP says the teachers were pinned in the car for a few hours, and suffered multiple injuries.

Guthrie Public Schools say Jennifer Briggs taught 7th grade English at Guthrie Junior High School, and Heather Wilson taught 8th grade English.

Briggs and Wilson were in their first year of teaching.

The school district said both teachers lived in Stillwater and carpooled to work each day.

“This has hit our Junior High staff and students especially hard and we are thankful for the outpouring of support.

"These were two rising stars in education who in their short time touched many lives.."

I have spoken with the families of both teachers to offer our condolences and support. We will get through this tragedy but for now we are grieving our loss,” said Dr. Mike Simpson, Superintendent of Guthrie Public Schools

Back at the Home of the Blue Jays, the cause of the crash is less important than helping the staff and students cope with the loss of two teachers.

Grief counselors are at the school today for staff and students.

Right now, Baca has not been charged with a crime. However, officials say that could change.

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