By KRYSTAL J. CARMAN

Staff writer



Monday morning’s death of a Chelsea man on Highway 28, four miles south of Chelsea, brought the traffic death toll to 22 in the county so far this year.

Bill Scruggs, 45, was exiting a private driveway in a 2006 Chevrolet HHR at 9:35 a.m. when he pulled into the path of a 1989 Freightliner semi, driven by Buddy Hatfield, 58, also of Chelsea. Hatfield was heading north on Highway 28, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol report.

Part of Scruggs’ vehicle was pinned beneath the front of the semi. It took emergency workers from the Chelsea Fire Department worked two two hours and 15 minutes to remove Scruggs. Also responding to the wreck scene were workers from Pafford Ambulance and OHP officers.

Scruggs was pronounced dead at the scene from massive trunk internal and external, arm, leg and head injuries.

Witnesses at the scene said Scruggs was leaving a member of his family’s house at the time of the accident. Hatfield’s ankle was injured during the accident, but he refused treatment at the scene.

Out of the 22 county traffic fatalities reported to date, 17 occurred on county and state roads. Five people have lost their lives in wrecks on the portion of Will Rogers Turnpike that crosses the county from northeast to southwest.

Statewide, the Department of Public Safety reported a decrease in traffic fatalities for the month of June. Fatalities were down 12 for a total of 68 compared to 80 in June 2005.

Fatalities are said to be highest on Fridays, with 18 occurring in June across the state, and 16 on Thursdays. In June, there were only three deathless days on Oklahoma highways.

In Rogers County, July brought six vehicle fatalities, the highest this year. March has been the only month where Rogers County has not seen a fatality.

There are many causes to the fatalities reported across the state, with alcohol-related crashes being one. However, sixty percent of those who died in traffic collisions were not wearing seat belts.

Contact Krystal J. Carman , newsed@swbell.net

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