Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 2, 2013

Questions remain after tragic wreck

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — For now it’s still a mystery what caused a truck to go off an Elmore City area highway triggering a tragic two-vehicle accident claiming the lives of two people, including a Pauls Valley woman.

Killed in the weekend accident were Gayla Ann Jackson, 45, of PV and Lance Todd Pemberton, 20, of Ringling.

It was Pemberton who was driving a 1999 Dodge Ram pickup eastbound on state Highway 29 on Saturday night, March 30.

At the same time Jackson was driving a 1998 Ford Clubwagon van in the opposite direction toward the pickup on the same highway.

State troopers are still investigating why Pemberton’s truck went off the roadway to the right at a site about a half mile east of Elmore City. The listed time was 9:20 p.m.

After the truck went off the road the driver overcorrected to the left as the vehicle then crossed the highway’s center line and into the path of the approaching van resulting in a head-on collision.

Both drivers were pinned in their vehicles for about two hours before being extracted by Elmore City firefighters using the Hurst tool.

Elmore City E.M.S. officials pronounced both Jackson and Pemberton dead at the scene from injuries sustained in the collision.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports shows there was one passenger in each of the two vehicles.

Riding along with Jackson was Alicia Reanne Busey, 25 of Elmore City.

Busey was transported by private vehicle to Norman Regional Hospital, where she was treated and released.

Troopers reported Busey was the only individual wearing seat belts when the collision occurred.

Hunter Watson, 20, of Davis was the lone passenger in the pickup driven by Pemberton.

Watson was initially taken by Elmore City ambulance to Pauls Valley General Hospital.

He was later airlifted to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. He was admitted in critical condition with head, arm, leg and trunk internal and external injuries.

OHP Trooper Tommy Riddle of the Garvin/Murray County Detachment is investigating the crash.

Riddle reported the cause of the accident and condition of Pemberton in the moments before the deadly collision are still under investigation.

The condition of Jackson just before the accident was listed as “apparently normal.”

Others assisting at the wreck site were Trooper Brian Bagwell of the Pontotoc County Detachment and Elmore City police.