Monday pursuit ends in fatality

January 21, 2014

A Colbert man who was a passenger in a vehicle fleeing from police was killed early Monday when the vehicle went off the road and struck a tree, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

Neil Allen Johnston, 31, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 12:56 a.m. crash.

According to OHP, he was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Kellis Glenn Barnett, 26, Colbert. Barnett was driving southbound at a high rate of speed on a county road south of Colbert where he was trying to elude a Colbert Police officer.

Barnett attempted to turn right when he lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a tree, according to OHP, and Johnston was ejected approximately three feet.

Front-seat passenger Skylar Renee Justice, 21, Cartwright, was taken to Texoma Medical Center to be treated for arm and internal trunk injuries. She was listed in fair condition at the time of the OHP report.

Barnett, who was arrested, refused treatment.

No one wore seat belts, according to Trooper Scott King’s report.

In other pursuits, a chase Sunday evening went through three counties. The chase began at approximately 5:30 when a Denison officer tried to pull over a speeding pickup, according to authorities, and the driver, later identified as Christopher Burton, drove northbound on Highway 69/75 into Bryan County and then into Atoka County where he crashed and was arrested.

A tire on the pickup was flattened during the chase and the sparks from it started several small grass fires alongside the highway.