Some Texoma drivers were caught off guard by old man winter on Thursday. Major accidents all up and down Interstate 35 have caused a traffic mess for travelers all day long.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers say sleet and an icy bridge were to blame for at least one of those accidents in Love County.
An eighteen-wheeler struck an SUV and ended up on its side just south of Ardmore. The ironic part of the story was that the driver was hauling a load of road salt, the kind used to make slippery roads easier to navigate.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol told us that wreck had the northbound lanes of the interstate shut down for about two hours. A woman and a little boy, both in the SUV, were badly injured, and were flown to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
The truck driver was expected to be treated and released.
Fatal accident in Murray County
A fatality accident in Murray County also is being blamed on the icy roads. It happened around 11:20 Thursday morning on Interstate 35 at mile marker 47 around the Arbuckles.
Troopers say 64-year-old Alfred Dee Benedum of China Spring, Texas, was driving a north on 35 in a pickup when he hit a patch of ice, lost control, and flipped.
His passenger, 67-year-old Dora Elizabeth Benedum, was pinned for about an hour. She died on the scene from her injuries.
Alfred Benedum was treated and released from Mercy Memorial Hospital, and while officials do not yet have a complete tally of exactly how many accidents we saw on Thursday, early estimates would seem to show well over a dozen weather-related wrecks in southern Oklahoma alone.
2 dead in Garvin County accident
PAULS VALLEY, Okla. (AP) - Two Wisconsin girls were among three people killed in separate accidents on Interstate 35 as freezing rain and sleet fell in south-central Oklahoma on Thursday.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 16-year-old Maria T. Rosas and 12-year-old Araceli Rosas of New London, Wisconsin, died after sustaining internal injuries in the crash around noon in Garvin County.
Troopers say the SUV's driver, Ramon J. Rosas, was headed north on the highway when he lost control of the vehicle and it left the roadway. Eventually, the SUV rolled twice, throwing everyone but Ramon J. Rosas.
He and Elvira Rosas were treated at hospitals for injuries and released.
The patrol says 14-year-old Ramon G. Rosas suffered head injuries and is in critical condition.