Okemah woman killed after being ejected from driver’s seat in recent single-car accident

By Joshua Allen
ONL Staff Reporter

A single-car accident on State Highway 56 earlier this week resulted in the untimely death of a local woman, according to a report from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. 

Tonya Franklin, a 45-year-old Okemah resident, was pronounced “dead at the scene” after troopers and other emergency personnel were dispatched to an area on SH56 about a mile east and three and a half miles north of Okemah in Okfuskee County, the report said. 

Occurring just before 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, the collision report explained the fatal wreck to be a result of the loss of control of the vehicle following an overcorrection.  

According to OHP Trooper Scott Hart, Franklin was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu, heading northbound on the state highway when she “ran off the roadway to the left, overcorrected and departed the roadway to the right.” 

Hart reported she then stuck an embankment before “rolling (the car) two complete times (and) coming to rest on its wheels.”

Franklin was ejected from the driver’s seat during the collision, landing approximately 28 feet from the point the vehicle came to rest, Hart said. 

She was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:18 p.m., less than half an hour from the time emergency responders were dispatched.

The condition of Franklin as a driver was listed as “apparently normal” in Hart’s report, which cited “inattention” as the cause of the collision. 

The trooper reported Franklin’s seat belt to be “equipped but not in use,” noting the deployment of the vehicle’s airbags. 

According to his report, the roadway on which the wreck occurred was two-lane asphalt, and the weather at the time of the collision was listed as cloudy.

Hart, of the Okfuskee County Detachment of Troop D, headed up the investigation of the collision and was assisted by Troopers Kieth Burch, Brad Stutiville, David Brown and Scott Aldridge. 

Hart concluded his report with the standard statement: “This report is based upon the trooper’s investigation of this collision. It may contain the opinion of the trooper.”   

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