Six High School Students Killed in Oklahoma Crash

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
March 23, 2022 Updated: March 23, 2022

Six high school students were killed in a crash in Tishomingo, Oklahoma on Tuesday when their vehicle collided with a semi-truck, local authorities said.

Sarah Stewart, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), told multiple news outlets that the students, all girls, died after their “small passenger vehicle” struck the semi-truck in the rural city about 120 miles south of Oklahoma City at 12:30 p.m. local time.

The spokesperson said she did not have the exact ages of the students.

The condition of the semi-truck driver wasn’t immediately clear. Stewart said the two vehicles collided at the intersection of U.S. Highway 377 and State Highway 22.

The girls were eastbound on Oklahoma 22 when their vehicle was struck by a rock hauler that was approaching from the east on U.S. 377, OHP Trooper Shelby Humphrey told KXII-TV of nearby Sherman, Texas.

Maps show the intersection is at the end of a 90-degree curve of U.S. 377 from east to south. The girls’ car was making a right turn when it collided with the truck, Humphrey said.

An official from OHP told KFOR that it was not immediately clear what led to the fatal collision.

“We don’t know the full nature or details of what caused the crash, only that the car at some point was at this stop sign and that in the following moments the semi hit them,” the OHP official said. “When we got to the scene you could see the car about 100 feet or so from the intersection completely totaled.”

The roof of the students’ vehicle and multiple doors were torn off.

Images from the scene of the crash showed a virtually destroyed black vehicle with what appeared to be a pink steering wheel among the rubble.

“We’re not sure how much of that was caused by the crash or by emergency responders but the scene was heartbreaking,” the OHP official said.

In a Facebook post, Tishomingo Public School Superintendent Bobby Waitman said the district has “suffered a great loss today involving high school students.”

“Our hearts are broken, and we are grieving with our students and staff,” said Waitman, noting that counselors are available to students.

“Schools will be in session tomorrow at each campus, but our focus will be the emotional well-being of our students,” said Waitman.

Waitman told The New York Times that the six students all attended Tishomingo High School.

“This is a community that supports one another,” he said. “It’s a very close-knit community, so the entire community will be grieving these young people’s loss.”

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the highway has been reopened to traffic following the collision.

“Our prayers are with each of the families involved and our community,” the statement said. “This is an absolute tragedy which will have lifelong effects. This community and families need our support and prayers at this time.”

The Epoch Times has contacted the OHP for additional comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.