Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

May 7, 2014

Wreck near PV claims one life

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Authorities are not sure what caused a vehicle to drift into another highway lane near Pauls Valley, resulting in a collision and the driver’s death.

Killed in the two-vehicle accident Sunday evening was 32-year-old Rickie W. Garcia of Wanette.

State troopers reported Garcia was alone while driving a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer southbound on Interstate 35.

A report released by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol shows a second vehicle was traveling in the same direction on the same highway.

At a listed time of 8:56 p.m. Sunday the two vehicles collided near Pauls Valley’s main exit and entrance ramps to the interstate. The site is officially listed as the 72 mile marker for I-35.

Troopers determined Garcia’s vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed in the inside lane when for an unknown reason it drifted to the right.

That’s when it struck a 2013 Dodge Charger driven by Tanecia R. Johnson, 19, of Dallas, Texas.

Garcia is reported to have corrected to the left before then overcorrecting back to the right sending his vehicle off the interstate.

The Wanette man’s vehicle overturned an unknown number of times before striking a tree and coming to rest.

Garcia, who reportedly was not wearing a seat belt at the time, was ejected approximately 4 feet from the vehicle’s point of rest.

Garcia was taken by a Pauls Valley E.M.S. ambulance to Pauls Valley General Hospital. He was pronounced dead at the hospital from massive injuries.

The news was far different for the three people inside the other vehicle as none were injured.

Coming out of the accident in good shape were Johnson and two passengers, Veronica X. Heanu, 22, and Avery K. Heanu, 20, both of Plano, Texas.

All three were wearing their seat belts when the accident occurred, according to the OHP.

The officially listed cause of the accident is still unknown as a pending investigation is continuing.

Leading that investigation is OHP Trooper Chase Miller of the Garvin County Detachment.

Assisting at the wreck site were Murray County Trooper Daniel Arms, Garvin County deputies and Pauls Valley firefighters and police.

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