Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 26, 2013

Train injury still has questions

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Plenty of questions remain on why a Pauls Valley man appears to have intentionally put himself in front of a train before he was struck and critically injured this past weekend.

Hurt in the incident early Saturday morning, Feb. 23 was 21-year-old William R. Scott Jr.

A preliminary report released by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol shows Scott was the pedestrian who ran up to the railroad tracks, laid his head on the tracks and was then struck by a passing train at a site north of PV.

Authorities investigating the incident stated in the report it remains unknown what caused Scott’s actions.

Although Scott was struck by the train, more detailed information about his injuries were unavailable.

The OHP report shows it was about 40 minutes after midnight early Saturday morning when a lone person ran up to the tracks as a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was traveling northbound near U.S. Highway 77 about 2 miles north of Pauls Valley.

Scott was airlifted from the scene and taken to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. He was admitted in critical condition with head and leg injuries.

Investigating the incident was OHP Trooper Tommy Riddle of the Garvin County Detachment. Assisting were other troopers, Garvin County deputies, Pauls Valley and railroad police, firefighters from PV and Paoli and PV E.M.S.

It was the same trooper who also investigated another accident a short time later at a site near Wynnewood.

Receiving trunk internal and trunk external injuries in the one-vehicle accident was 26-year-old Coyete J. Lewis of Wynnewood.

It was also determined the cause of the accident was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Lewis was alone while driving a 1997 Honda Civic eastbound on state Highway 29.

When the vehicle failed to stop at the intersection crossing at U.S. 77, about 2 miles west of Wynnewood, it struck a utility pole. Lewis was pinned inside for about 15 minutes before being freed by Wynnewood firefighters using the Hurst tool.

The listed time of the accident was 2:02 a.m. Saturday.

Lewis was initially taken by ambulance to Pauls Valley General Hospital. He was later airlifted to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where he was admitted in stable condition with head, trunk internal and trunk external injuries.