and Jessica Breger
Democrat News Staff
An 11-year-old boy was killed Sunday in a single-vehicle crash on a county road south of Blue, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.
Joseph Miller was pronounced dead at the scene of the 3:40 p.m. crash. According to the patrol, Miller was a passenger in an SUV driven by Clyde Rual Powell, 28, Durant. Powell was traveling westbound on Rock Creek Road when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a fence and a tree.
The vehicle rolled one time and Powell and six passengers were ejected, the patrol said. Two passengers, Virginia Miller, 33, and Leah Homer, 14, both of Durant, where flown to a Plano, Texas, hospital where they were listed in critical condition with head and trunk injuries. Powell was also flown to Plano and was listed in stable condition.
Three other Durant residents, Frank James Fannon, 15, Jessie James Fannon, 14, and Smokey Jo Fannon, 9, were taken to the Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma where they were listed in stable condition at the time of the OHP report.
None of the occupants wore seat belts, according to the patrol.
Miller was a student at Durant Intermediate School.
Durant Intermediate School Principal Tod Harrison said they will begin dealing with the impact of this loss on the students this morning as school was not in session Monday.
“We want to go in ready and there for the kids,” said Harrison.
He said they will have people ready to talk with students, including counselors from across the area.
Harrison said there is no way to tell how the students will handle this tragedy.
“We are going to try to get them through this the best we can,” Harrison said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”
A funeral service for Miller is pending with Brown’s Funeral Service.
The driver had an odor of an alcoholic beverage, according to Trooper B.J. Keeling’s report, and alcohol, plus excessive speed, were cited as causes of the crash.
Troopers Mike Green and Robby Keeling assisted in the investigation. Other agencies responding were Bryan County EMS, Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, Philadelphia Fire Department, Bokchito Police Department and the Durant Police Department.
The crash remains under investigation. According to court records, Powell has two prior arrests for DUI, in August 2009 and again in June 2011. He was given a deferred sentence on the first DUI and that case was dismissed one year later, but not expunged because he not provide proof that he had attended a Victims’ Impact Panel (VIP) that was required under the terms of the sentence.
He was charged again on June 1, 2011, and according to court records, he has an outstanding warrant in that case. The District Attorney’s Office had not received a report on the crash at press time today.