Rollover on I-35 leads to 2 more accidents by distracted drivers

By: Helen Headlee
By: Helen Headlee

LOVE COUNTY, OK -- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said 3 accidents happened within minutes of each other on I-35 in Love County.

Two of those happened when drivers got distracted by the first crash.

"My car is the Ford Edge that got really badly hit in the back and not much damage to the front," said Dalton Tindall, a driver one of the secondary accidents.

With more and more drivers hitting the roads for the holidays, troopers saed these crashes are proof: slowing down to check out an accident could result in another one.

"Drivers really need to focus on the traffic in front of them and also to the rear of them," said Trooper Brian Quinn. "Need them to focus on what's going on that way we can avoid these secondary collisions like this."

OHP said the first accident happened when a man headed north fell asleep at the wheel near milemarker 16 drifting into the center median then rolling his truck twice.

Troopers said just south of that accident, three vehicles hit each other because they were looking at the first crash, and two more vehicles in the southbound lanes ran into the median for the same reason.

Tindall was hit from the front and behind when the car in front of him slowed down to look.

"I reacted a little slowly," said Tindall. "A little more slowly than I should have as far as braking."

While troopers warn against distraction, they also want drivers to avoid tunnel vision.

"Just need to maintain 360 degree visibility of what's going on around you and also of what's ahead of you so we don't have these secondary and third crashes," said Trooper Quinn.

The left lane going northbound was closed for half an hour.

Only Minor injuries were reported.

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