Five die after pickup truck plummets into Oklahoma creek

  • The accident occurred around 10.40pm in Welling, Oklahoma, on Sunday
  • Authorities say the truck hit a guardrail and bounced to the other side of the road
  • The truck then drove through the railing before plunging into Baron Fort Creek
  • Victims are: Donovan Caldwell, 18; Jessica Swartwout, 18; Drake Wells, 19; Rhianna Seely, 18; and Lily Murphy, 18
  • His condition and the cause of the crash remains under investigation 

By Associated Press

Published: 07:58 EDT, 18 September 2017 | Updated: 12:13 EDT, 18 September 2017

Five teenagers drowned after the pickup truck they were riding in hit a guardrail and crashed into a creek in northeastern Oklahoma on Sunday night.

According to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report, Donovan Caldwell, 18; Jessica Swartwout, 18; Drake Wells, 19; Rhianna Seely, 18; and Lily Murphy, 18; all died at the scene of the crash near Tahlequah.

The collision occurred around 10.40pm as the 2006 Chevrolet Colorado pickup, which was driving south on Welling Road, hit a guardrail.

The truck bounced back to the other side of the road and veered off to the left, driving through the railing and off Welling Bridge, plunging 35 feet into Baron Fort Creek and landing on its roof. 

Five teenagers drowned after the pickup truck they were riding in hit a guardrail and crashed into a creek in northeastern Oklahoma on Sunday night. Donovan Caldwell, 18 (pictured), was named the driver of the truck
Five teenagers drowned after the pickup truck they were riding in hit a guardrail and crashed into a creek in northeastern Oklahoma on Sunday night. Donovan Caldwell, 18 (pictured), was named the driver of the truck
Reports have differed in regards to whether he or victim Jessica Swartwout, 18 (pictured), was the only one wearing a seatbelt
Reports have differed in regards to whether he or victim Jessica Swartwout, 18 (pictured), was the only one wearing a seatbelt

Five teenagers drowned after the pickup truck they were riding in hit a guardrail and crashed into a creek in northeastern Oklahoma on Sunday night. Donovan Caldwell, 18 (left), was named the driver of the truck, according to police. Reports have differed in regards to whether he or victim Jessica Swartwout, 18 (right), was the only one wearing a seatbelt

All five were students at the nearby Northeastern State University in Tahlequah (Pictured, victim Drake Wells, 19)
All five were students at the nearby Northeastern State University in Tahlequah (Pictured, victim Drake Wells, 19)
Drake Wells, 19; Lily Murphy, 18 (pictured); and Rhianna Seely, 18; were also killed
Drake Wells, 19; Lily Murphy, 18 (pictured); and Rhianna Seely, 18; were also killed

All five were students at the nearby Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. Drake Wells, 19 (left); Lily Murphy, 18 (right); and Rhianna Seely, 18; were also killed

Caldwell was named the driver of the truck. Some reports have claimed that Caldwell was the only one wearing a seat belt and others have named Swartwourt to be the only person. 

All five teenagers were students at the nearby Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. 

NSU President Steve Turner said in a statement Monday morning: 'I cannot fathom the pain the families and friends of these young people are going through as a result of this terrible and tragic accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them this morning.'

Turner added that the university is providing counseling for students and friends of the victims.

The collision occurred around 10.40pm as the 2006 Chevrolet Colorado pickup (picture), which was driving south on Welling Road, hit a guardrail. The truck bounced back to the other side of the roa and drove through the railing off Welling Bridge, plunging 35 feet into Baron Fort Creek and landing on its roof
The collision occurred around 10.40pm as the 2006 Chevrolet Colorado pickup (picture), which was driving south on Welling Road, hit a guardrail. The truck bounced back to the other side of the roa and drove through the railing off Welling Bridge, plunging 35 feet into Baron Fort Creek and landing on its roof

The collision occurred around 10.40pm as the 2006 Chevrolet Colorado pickup (picture), which was driving south on Welling Road, hit a guardrail. The truck bounced back to the other side of the roa and drove through the railing off Welling Bridge, plunging 35 feet into Baron Fort Creek and landing on its roof

NSU President Steve Turner said in a statement Monday morning that the university is providing counseling for students and friends of the victims. The report says the cause of the crash, and Caldwell's condition at the time, remains under investigation (Pictured, Caldwell and Murphy)
NSU President Steve Turner said in a statement Monday morning that the university is providing counseling for students and friends of the victims. The report says the cause of the crash, and Caldwell's condition at the time, remains under investigation (Pictured, Caldwell and Murphy)

NSU President Steve Turner said in a statement Monday morning that the university is providing counseling for students and friends of the victims. The report says the cause of the crash, and Caldwell's condition at the time, remains under investigation (Pictured, Caldwell and Murphy)

'I have every confidence in the compassion of the NSU family to pull together and support those who are experiencing so much pain and sadness,' he said. 

The OHP, Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, Welling Fire Department and Cherokee Nation EMS responded to the scene and had to extradite all five from the vehicle.

The report says the cause of the crash, and Caldwell's condition at the time, remains under investigation.

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By Mathias Dillion 09/18/2017 12:13:00
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