Man arrested after leaving scene of crash on lawn mower

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ATOKA, Okla. (KXII) -- A man is behind bars accused of leaving the scene of an injury accident, drunk on his lawn mower.

Gary Ratliff, 61, was seen riding his lawn mower against traffic on the side of Highway 7on Friday morning.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said an electric service company bucket truck slowed down to swerve around the mower but then moments later, an Atoka County worker in a gravel truck couldn't slow down fast enough to swerve around Ratliff and collided with the electrical service truck, knocking them both into a ditch.

"All these cars backed up and we saw all these cops come in from town," Kelsey James said, who lives near the crash site.

OHP said Ratliff then left the scene and continued driving along his way on the lawn mower.

He was located and arrested shortly after up the street on an active warrant for public intoxication, his 13th time being booked in for this crime.

"All I heard was a drunk guy on a lawn mower causing an accident, which is really a first for me to hear around here," Lydia Thomas said, who lives in Atoka.

The county truck was heavily damaged and the driver was treated at a hospital and has been released.

The driver of the PSO truck was uninjured.

Two women who were near the accident when it happened said they are grateful everyone came out alive.

"Just thank God the officials are okay and they're getting the help they need and hopefully the driver of the lawnmower is getting the help he needs," Thomas said.

"Maybe he'll finally learn a lesson after this and I hope everyone is okay," James said.

Ratliff is still in the Atoka County Jail.



 
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