• November 02, 2022

Connie Clark Killed in Crash with 18-Wheeler on US-59 in Stilwell, OK

Stilwell, OK — November 1, 2022, Connie Clark died in a collision with a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 59 in Stilwell.

Authorities say the incident happened around 12:45 p.m. on US-59 near Bethel Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Clark's vehicle was traveling south on the highway as a Peterbilt 18-wheeler was northbound nearby on the other side. Investigators believe Clark's vehicle crossed over the center line and crashed into the oncoming big rig.

Clark suffered critical injuries in the wreck. She was taken to a Stilwell hospital where she was pronounced dead. The truck driver, Clarence Williams, was treated at the same hospital and released a short time later.

The investigation continues but authorities say both parties were wearing seat belts and their airbags deployed during the collision. No further information is currently available.

Connie Clark Killed in Crash with 18-Wheeler on US-59 in Stilwell, OK

Commentary on Connie Clark Accident in Stilwell

I have no specific reason to doubt that things happened as police think, but at the same time I've learned to take most preliminary reports with a grain or two of salt. Accidents are often more complex than they first seem, but those complexities are sometimes missed police. Could there be more to this story?

Here's an example of what I mean: Not long ago a family asked us to look into a wreck after police said their loved one crossed the center line and hit an 18-wheeler. However, our investigators found evidence that police got things wrong. It turned out the 18-wheeler actually crossed over first when the truck driver fell asleep. The victim swerved left to avoid it but his honking horn woke up the trucker, who then mirrored the evasion while trying to get back in his lane. The two collided head-on in the truck's lane.

The officer in charge of that investigation had neither the experience nor the equipment to look close enough. Moreover, police quickly accepted the story they got at the scene from the sole witness--the truck driver, who saw no need to correct their mistaken conclusions. If investigators have the right tools and training those pitfalls can be avoided, and victims and families can get the full and true story. Will the whole truth be found after the Stilwell wreck?

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