Victim of Fiery I-35 Crash Misidentified

4-6-06 - Authorities wrongly identified a person killed in a fiery four-vehicle pile-up on I-35 in southern Oklahoma shortly before midnight Tuesday. Shawn Franklin Choate was the victim, but a Yukon man was initially named.

Sean Evan Choate of Yukon read about the story in an Oklahoma City newspaper. He notified Yukon police, who notified the Highway Patrol in Carter County. Authorities did notify the correct family in the 1st place. The mistake happened due to a communication error with the media.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 27-year-old Shawn Franklin Choate of Yukon was the driver of a car who apparently didn't see traffic was stopped because of an accident on the interstate just south of
Marietta. Troopers say Choate's car hit another car, then swerved and was hit by a tractor-trailer rig and pushed into a third car. Choate's car then caught fire and the tractor-trailer rig also was burned. No one else was injured.

Choate had been staying in Gainesville.