DAVIS, Okla. — Four members of a Texas college softball team are dead after a tractor-trailer crossed over the center median on Interstate 35 and collided with the team’s van Friday night just south of Turner Falls.

DAVIS, Okla. — Four members of a Texas college softball team are dead after a tractor-trailer crossed over the center median on Interstate 35 and collided with the team’s van Friday night just south of Turner Falls.


Meagan Richardson, 19, of Wylie, Texas; Katelynn Woodlee, 18, of Windom, Texas and Jaiden Pelton, 20, of Telephone, Texas, were pronounced dead at the scene, troopers reported. Brooke Deckard, 20, of Scurry, Texas, was taken by helicopter to Arbuckle Memorial Hospital in Sulphur, where she later died. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Ronnie Hampton said the accident, which also injured 15 passengers of the van from North Central Texas College in Gainseville, Texas, will remain under investigation for several weeks.


The softball team was returning to Texas after playing a scrimmage with Southern Nazarene University in Bethany. "What we do know is that the semi (truck) was headed north on I-35 when he departed the roadway and entered the southbound lanes," he said. "When it impacted the bus, it just kept going and went off the side of road. … We knew we had a two-vehicle accident by what we saw at the scene. … But it took about an hour before we found the semi," he said. As wreckers dragged the team’s van from the crash site, the damage was highlighted by spotlights. The front end of the team van was virtually untouched while the sides of the vehicle were heavily damaged.


Troopers and witnesses said the driver’s side of the van sustained the worst damage, with one man describing the vehicle as being "opened up like a sardine can." Hampton said the van’s driver — who also is the coach of the softball team — declined treatment at the scene and escaped without serious injury. The driver of the tractor-trailer was taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to survive, Hampton said.


"Right now, it’s being investigated like a homicide," Hampton said. "Both drivers … We will run toxicologies on them, which is standard with something like this." Hampton said the driver of the tractor-trailer didn’t appear impaired, but the investigation would continue. "These days, with prescription drugs and their effect on the body, a driver can (sober up) at the accident scene because it snaps them back into focus," he said. "We don’t know if that’s the case here … but something happened to cause him to depart the roadway and impact the other vehicle."