Prison escape ends in Carter Co. crash

By: Alex Belser Email
By: Alex Belser Email

CARTER COUNTY, OK - A man's escape from prison ended in a crash and an arrest.

It happened on Interstate 35 around 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Troopers say David Hammock, 25, had access to work on cars at a prison in Lexington.

According to the Highway Patrol, Hammock took off in a white Department of Corrections van on Tuesday afternoon around 3 p.m. A prison employee going the other way on Interstate 35 spotted it in Purcell.

"He recognized the vehicle because it was his vehicle that he normally drives when he's on duty, so he called and they confimed they had an escaped inmate," OHP Capt. Ronnie Hampton said.

According to Hampton, troopers followed Hammock for 30 miles, going up to 90 miles an hour. A trooper tried to stop him near Pauls Valley, and he swerved to avoid stop sticks near mile marker 45 in the Arbuckle Mountains.

Eventually, Hammock tried started swerving in between the two southbound lanes of traffic, near where trooper cars were parked waiting at Exit 42, Hampton said.

Hammock hit a vehicle carrying a family traveling from Kansas to Dallas to see a new baby and went off the side of the road.

"I saw him get out of the van and they were on him right away and he was face down on the grass and that was the end of it," said Dan Wenger of Kansas City.

Wenger said he noticed troopers rushing to get stop sticks, and moments later Hammock's van hit the back of his car.

Hammock went off the side of the road and rammed into a trooper's car, but no one was inside and no one was hurt. Hammock was handcuffed and driven from the scene.

Hammock was convicted of torching an old high school in Sallisaw, OK, in 2004, reportedly to cover up a burglary.

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