A passenger who helped pull other McLoud family members from a fiery crash in Oklahoma City spoke about the accident Monday as two of the occupants remained hospitalized with burns, with one in critical condition as family members feared the worst.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol worked the accident scene Friday morning on westbound I-240 at Santa Fe Avenue after a 2002 Ford pickup occupied by four McLoud residents was rear-ended by the driver of a Mercury Grand Marquis.
The impact of the accident sent the pickup onto a barrier wall and ruptured the fuel tank, which caused a fire.
Passenger Elvin Brown, 48, said they were traveling and then in a split-second, their truck was rear-ended.
“We spun around,” Brown said, with the truck sliding onto the barrier and igniting, causing it to “burst into flames,”
The pickup was driven by Brown’s future father-in-law, Ellis Bowden, 75, McLoud. Brown said Bowden got out of the pickup and then he was able to escape, although his arm and leg were burned.
Brown said they were able to get his fiancée, Karen Bowden, 50, out of the burning car and then he worked to rescue his future mother-in-law, Patricia Bowden, 73.
He said a truck driver and trooper had fire extinguishers at the chaotic scene. All four McLoud family members were taken by ambulances to OU Medical Center.
While Ellis Bowden and Brown have since been released, Patricia Bowden and Karen Bowden remained hospitalized Monday.
While Karen Bowden has serious burns, the family was concerned and rallying around the mother Monday, whose condition was reported by family members as being life-threatening.
Patricia Bowden’s daughter, Kellie Leach, said Monday her mother wasn’t doing well with critical injuries, including burns and a broken back, and they weren’t sure if she would recover.
“We want everybody to pray for them,” Leach said.
As the chaotic scene unfolded on the busy highway, a Good Samaritan did help the family with their dog. Also injured in the accident was Karen Bowden’s Chihuahua, Gidget, Brown said.
The dog, which suffered burns to her feet, went across the road to a nearby store, where someone scooped her up and took her to a vet, he said.
According to the patrol, the driver of the Grand Marquis, Carlos White, 24, Oklahoma City, was not injured in the crash.
The trooper’s initial teletype cites cause of the accident as White following too closely, with the report listing his condition as “sleepy” at the time of the crash.
Page 2 of 2 - Leach said reports the family has received from troopers indicate the driver was allegedly driving under suspension, but that could not be confirmed from OHP and there was no record of that driver being jailed in Oklahoma County Monday.
No other information could be obtained.
Watch for updates.